“Suppose we took
a thousand negatives...
NEW YORK CHANGING
The paired images produce a remarkable commentary on the evolution of New York City over several decades and encourage the viewer to consider the rate and meaning of progress. This juxtaposition of the past and present comes with obvious changes: the brownstone becomes a housing project, the neighborhood store becomes a skyscraper. Often, however, the encounter results in a more subtle reflection of the changing tides of our culture.
A chance glimpse at Abbott’s “Broadway near Broome Street” in Manhattan launched Levere’s project. As it happened, the location of the photograph was the doorstep of Levere’s SoHo loft. “It was the view I see walking out of my door every day,” Levere said. “I was mesmerized.” In an instant, the contrast between Abbott’s photograph and the image in his mind spoke volumes about the history of his neighborhood, and the people who had made their lives in New York City. Levere, a University at Buffalo graduate and Manhattan-based freelance photographer, has spent much of the last six years researching, planning, and scouting these rephotographs. With meticulous attention to detail, he duplicated the composition, techniques, and even used Abbott’s own large format camera. Each shot was taken at the same time of year and same time of day as Abbott’s, even, in one location, waiting for the hands on an outdoor clock to move to the same minute before releasing the shutter.
The final touring exhibition and book will feature my photographs side by side with vintage Abbott prints. I feel this project will spark a dialogue on the past, present, and future of our ever-changing urban landscape