Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Manhattan Noon exhibition by Gus Powell

All of my friends are successful!

Gus Powell is also enjoying a one-man show of his work at the Museum of the City of New York. Called Manhattan Noon: Photographs by Gus Powell, it is on view until March 16th.

The midday meanderings of New Yorkers on their lunch breaks, famously captured by Frank O'Hara in his 1964 collection Lunch Poems, are the subject of Manhattan Noon, the first large-scale New York presentation of the recent photographs of Gus Powell. The exhibition features some 30 color images, taken by Powell during his lunch hour, that capture the city's inhabitants in, as O'Hara wrote, "the noisy splintered glare of a Manhattan noon."

In the mid 1950's Frank O'Hara wrote a book called Lunch Poems. Each day he would step out of his mid-town office, walk his way to the Olivetti typewriter showroom, and bang out a poem about “the noisy splintered glare of a Manhattan noon.” For the past few years I have worked behind a desk not far from where O'Hara once sat. After I was given O'Hara's book my lunch breaks started to get longer. Sliding out of the revolving door I found myself transformed into a hungry sailor with one hour of liberty from his ship. Some days the sidewalk offered a dramatic or romantic one act play; a pedestrian might fall, a couple might kiss . . . but most of the time I was looking at people who walked towards and away from me. The quiet gestures of strangers in daylight became significant, and the photographs I made became my lunch pictures. -Gus Powell

Gus Powell was born in New York and currently lives in Brooklyn. Gus's photographs have been exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago, the McMullen Museum of Art, Boston, MoMA NY, and other national and international galleries. His fine art and editorial work has appeared in The New Yorker, DoubleTake, Newsweek, and the book Bystander: A History of Street Photography. In 2003 Gus was included in Photo District News' "New Talent" issue and his first monograph, titled The Company of Strangers, was published by J&L Books.

Buy Company of Strangers online at J+L Books