A love letter to New York
Post Superstorm Sandy, New York City is not looking quite at its best right now. So it's an opportune moment for the release of Gotham City, a book of spectacular photographs by Luca Campigotto which capture the city in all its romantic glory
This is New York as seen through the eyes of a visitor – Campigotto first came when he was 18 and the 60 photographs in the book were taken over the course of a decade. As he admits in the book's endnotes, this is a vision of the city informed by a thousand films (there's an obvious reference to Once Upon A Time In America in the image above), by the paintings of Edward Hopper (seen in the top image especially) and by comic books. It's a romanticised ideal of New York (or should we say Manhattan as that's its focus), far away from the gritty streets of Weegee or Garry Winogrand.
Even when photographing graffiti on the Brooklyn docks, Campigotto's large-format camera lends everything a highly-detailed, lush beauty. This book may well enrage those who already complain of the 'Disneyfication' of Manhattan,but the pictures are breathtakingly beautiful. Whether of a twinkly Manhattan at night, or a Downtown street corner, the city has never looked so drop dead gorgeous.
Gotham City by Luca Campigotto is published by Damiani, distributed through Abrams & Chronicle Books, £35
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In our November issue we look at ad agency Wieden + Kennedy in a major feature as it celebrates its 30th anniversary; examine the practice of and a new monograph on M/M (Paris); investigate GOV.UK, the first major project from the Government Digital Service; explore why Kraftwerk appeals so much to designers; and ponder the future of Instagram. Rick Poynor reviews the Phaidon Archive of Graphic Design; Jeremy Leslie takes in a new exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery dedicated to experimental magazine, Aspen; Mark Sinclair explores Birmingham's Ikon Gallery show of work by the late graphic designer, Tony Arefin; while Daniel Benneworth-Gray writes about going freelance; and Michael Evamy looks at new telecommunications brand EE's identity. Plus, subscribers also receive Monograph in which Tim Sumner of tohave-and-tohold.co.uk dips into Preston Polytechnic's ephemera archive to pick out a selection of printed paper retail bags from the 70s and 80s.
The issue also doubles up as the Photography Annual 2012 – our showcase of the best images in commercial photography produced over the last year. The work selected is as strong as ever, with photographs by the likes of Tim Flach (whose image of a hairless chimp adorns the front cover of the issue, above); Nadav Kander (whose shot of actor Mark Rylance is our Photography Annual cover); Martin Usborne; Peter Lippmann; Giles Revell and more.
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These photos have a really peaceful atmosphere to them, no wonder it took 10 years to shoot.
Not a piece of litter (or pedestrian?) to be seen; that's what's weird. Not even a cat!
They all seem rather passive to me... sorry to be negative.
This is a gorgeous and loving representation of his vision of the place. Calling it Gotham City in itself demonstrates his idea of it's occasional passivity - it is what makes the images tell such an eloquent story, as if something other-worldly is just about to happen, which is how comic books convey the imminent dynamism of some action heroics about to happen... isn't it?
What a fantastic post! Now I am damn sure Why I love that place! :)
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