Captions, clockwise from top:

"I don’t think people realize how hurtful of a word ‘still’ can be. So many times people have asked me if I’m ‘still’ chasing my dream of being on television, with a tone that implies I’ll eventually be giving up."

"Sometimes I stay up late without asking."

"I’m an architect, and I’ve designed buildings all over the world. Every time I get a commission in an emerging market, I get excited about the opportunity to draw from the country’s heritage, culture, and art. But the client never wantsit. They all want the same thing: ‘modern style, modern style, modern style.’ Everything has to be high and glassy. It’s almost as if everyone wants to hide their differences. It’s boring.”

"I was hoping I’d be somebody by now."

Have you seen Humans of New York, the inquisitive photo blog (and book, and Facebook feed) that pairs candid portraits of New Yorkers with simple questions about everyday life. Subjects flock to curator Brandon’s lens, offering glimpses into their world that is at times vague and abstract, and sometimes specific and startling. I see it as a testament to the power of confession, that once it’s out there, captured for (digital) eternity, it’s no longer yours; the things we hole up inside of our quiet souls become the property and benefit of everyone else. That’s pretty damn awesome if you ask me. That’s sharing. That’s truth.

Take one look through Brandon’s impressive collection and consider what you’d say if you were asked, “Tell me about yourself…”

-Ben

Taxi, 1957 Canopy, 1958 Snow, 1960 Red Umbrella, 1957 Don't Walk, 1952 Tulips, 1954 Postmen, 1952 Newspaper Kiosk, 1955 Grey Umbrella, c. 1954

Without any formal training, Saul Leiter began taking his own photographs on the streets of New York City in the 1940s. His amateur works were quickly recognized by Edward Steichen, who included him in two shows at the MoMA not long later in the 50’s.

For some 40 years after those exhibits, Leiter’s continued to take pictures for his own pleasure, but his personal photography remained just that - his own, not shared with the public.

It wasn’t until the 90’s that Leiter revisited his collection of slides and began to make prints again.

His work is both spatially expansive and confining. What often looks accidental, his framing is almost scientific, as he unconventionally captures moments of tranquility in the frenzied commotion of New York.

His shots are still and serene, but full of life and motion. His color pallet looks carefully curated but also abstract and improvised.

Leiter once said that he usually purchased inexpensive color film that was past its expiration date, because he liked to be surprised by the strange shifts in color that would result.

Above are some of my favorite works by Leiter. His use of negative space and the movement that he conveys is what really grabbed me and first turned me on to his photographs. It’s an inspiring reminder that the camera is an extension of the eye, arm and mind, and that you don’t need to be a trained professional to use one.

- PS

Photos courtesy: Jackson Fine Art

Guggenheim, 2010 Cabs - Aerial View, 2011 Water Tower Skyline, 2012 Brooklyn Bridge, 2011 Statue of Liberty, 2011 James Dean, 2011 Five Boroughs, 2011

It’s near impossible to navigate New York City without one or two or three of the city’s bright yellow metro cards. Everyone’s got one, and everyone’s lost one. WIth that in mind, New York artist Nina Boesch has re-imagined the New York landscape using only discarded metrocards, chopping up the cards to best utilize their limited color palettes (yellow, blue, black and white) for her metrocard collages. Between the cityscape perspectives and some pitch perfect recreations of iconic New York faces, Boesch is on a roll with an incredible effort of artistic reuse.

- Maggie