Carrie Boretz: Street: New York City – 70s, 80s, 90s
I have always been more interested in the subtle and familiar moments of everyday life, not the big news stories. They are telling in different ways and just as powerful. Nothing was scripted but played out right before me. As Patti Smith once said,” You need no rational, no schooling. It’s love at first sight. You see something and you have to capture it. Instinctive, bang, you feel one with it.” I don’t really have a philosophy about shooting other than I trust my instinct. – Carrie Boretz
powerHouse Books has just released an almost thirty year look at the streets of New York, seen through the eyes (and photographs) of Carrie Boretz. Aptly titled, STREET: New York City – 70s, 80s, 90s, the work reflects a city in flux, more gritty and unstable, but her focus remains with the simple gestures of everyday life in neighborhoods and communities that were familiar. The book is a testament to seeing, Carrie managing to stay hyper aware of juxtapositions and relationships, but it is also a testament to commitment, returning year after year to the streets in search of that split second of something real and beautiful.
After graduating in 1975 from Washington University in St. Louis Carrie Boretz began her life as a New York City photographer a week later, landing an internship at the Village Voice. Over the next decade she photographed for The New York Times Magazine, New York, Sports Illustrated, People, Fortune, and Life. By the 1990s she was shooting almost daily for the New York Times’s “Day” beat, one picture that revealed a slice of the city on that particular day. The streets were her “office” life but after 25 years of shooting, she traded it in to start life in an actual office and became a photo editor at S.I.’s GOLF, (2003–2013) where she was the only one on staff who didn’t play the game. Street is her first book of photographs.
My book STREET contains 103 black and white photographs, from 1975 through 1997. Mostly of the pedestrian on the street, involved in ordinary rituals. Walking, waiting, interacting, daydreaming, of being themselves on the streets of NYC. I observed many inconsistencies, often within one frame throughout the two and half decades I photographed. The rich and poor, couples and singles, the old and the young, the helper and the helpless. I didn’t have to travel far to feel moved or amazed or motivated. The streets were gritty and decaying a block away from ones that were polished and refined. The daily discrepancies ebbed and flowed throughout these 25 years. The dirt and graffiti came off the subway, as with some of the streets but much stayed the same. People absorbed with one another, with gestures, with humor, with intimacy. – Carrie Boretz
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