When conjuring images of New York City, most often we think of the Big Apple as an imposing behemoth of concrete and steel, constructed to suit the architecture of commerce and the needs of infrastructure without deference to wilderness. Joel Meyerowitz’s Legacy: The Preservation of Wilderness in New York City Parks will go a long way as a visual corrective to the idea that New York City’s evolution as a concrete jungle has purged nature entirely from inside of its borders. Legacy is a coffee table sized book with gorgeous and evocative photographs, composed to illustrate the living results of a long-standing commitment by city officials and conservationists to preserve “pockets of wilderness within the urban environs.” Covering all five boroughs, Meyerowitz creates visual moments that present us with a fresh perspective on New York City’s relationship to the struggle and perseverance of the organic world while “contextualizing these corners of nature as an inextricable part of city life today.”
Just as powerful in eliciting both intellectual and emotional responses, Photo:Box is a wonderful collection of iconic images, both color and black and white works, arranged by categories like war, nudes, portraits, travel, cities, and reportage. Both the drama and the banality of everyday life are captured in celluloid time by both contemporary photographers and well documented masters of the craft. Etched into our public consciousness, many of the image makers and photographs are well known (Richard Avedon, Nan Goldin, Lauren Greenfield, Dorthea Lange, Man Ray, Robert Capa) and have been published hundreds of times, yet they still continue to draw our attention to their curious contents, asking of the critical mind to raise questions about the intersection between media, image and reality.
Legacy : the preservation of wilderness in New York City parks