The year of New York photography

The year of New York photography

The year began worryingly with the arrival of a right-wing mob in the US Capitol – a congregation that seemed alien and deeply familiar at the same time. Photojournalist Balazs Gardi, who together with Luke Mogelson documented the work of the extremists for months, captures in black and white the lawless anger that was to determine January 6th. The images from that day underline the challenge of photographing a crowd; There is an inner conflict between the aggregate and the special, between the contours of a crush and the specialty of an unmasked face.

The solemn images of life after the COVID-19 vaccination also took advantage of this tension. Matthew Pillsbury’s long exposure turns New York night owls into anonymous motion blurs. Natalie Keyssar’s snapshots of dance floors across town capture the exquisite beauty and awkwardness of people dancing in the dark. The strange, collective catharsis of the year was perhaps most accurately illustrated by Mark Peterson’s pictures of Knicks fans taken outside Madison Square Garden after a winning game against the Hawks. As Vinson Cunningham wrote in his dispatch from the garden, the joy of the fans – to be back in the stands after months of absence, at the fact that the Knicks are in the playoffs for the first time in eight years – easily gave way to a kind of “senseless” Antagonism. “One of Peterson’s pictures shows two Knicks fans with mouths wide open and eyes seemingly aimed at different targets, screaming into the night.

Marella Gayla

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