The Mighty Lens
As soon as I read that photographer Jiri Makovec stranded himself on an island – ManHAttan Island, that is – I knew I liked this guy. A lot.
“For me, New York City is like an island apart from the rest of the U.S.,” he said.
58 images captured between 2004 and 2009 were selected for “From the Island.” I spied equal parts of remoteness and intimacy and humor.
All were captured as is. “When I saw something interesting and striking, I snapped it,” he said. “If you start to ask questions first, the picture is ruined.”
He has a point. In one image, a man is kneeling on the sidewalk, wearing red clothes and makeup: Does it enhance the viewing to know he was an artist conducting a tea ceremony on Rivington Street, or does it deflate it?
It’s always interesting to compare your initial take on a visual to the photographer’s. For these images, however, there is no back story. What you spy is based on your eye alone.