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Viewfinder | Time and Space On the Lower East Side

Brian Rose’s new book, “Time and Space on the Lower East Side,” juxtaposes street scenes from 1980 with images from 2010. The Local asked him to share some of his favorites from the book – as well as some more recent photos – along with his thoughts about the world of change he has documented.

e4_1980East 4th Street – 1980

In 1980, shortly after graduating from Cooper Union I began photographing the Lower East Side, which includes the East Village, in collaboration with Ed Fausty. Walking in the footsteps of photographers Jacob Riis and Berenice Abbot, and inspired by new developments in color photography, we documented the neighborhood over the course of a year with a 4×5 view camera. It was, perhaps, the neighborhood’s darkest, but most creative moment. While buildings crumbled and burned, artists and musicians came to explore and express the edgy quality of the place.

After moving on to other projects and living in Amsterdam for 12 years, I decided to return to where I first made my stand in New York – the Lower East Side, where so many Americans trace their roots: the old neighborhood tucked beneath the bridges, lying at the feet of the pinnacles of power, would serve as a barometer of change and continuity. Read more…

The World Trade Center, Magnified On East Fourth

Ella Zhang Scenes from last night’s opening of the “WTC” exhibit on East Fourth Street.

A longtime photographer of Lower Manhattan has taken close-up photos of the World Trade Center and mounted them on a scaffolding on East Fourth Street, just out of reach.

Brian Rose, the photographer behind “WTC,” said he was inspired to prepare the outdoor exhibit after cleaning negatives of World Trade Center photos he took as long as 30 years ago. In the process of ridding the film of dust, he zoomed in on it and became mesmerized by the architectural beauty of the towers’ details.

“’WTC’ was never a project, it was found,” Mr. Rose said.
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