Jeffrey Milstein: LA NY: Aerial Photographs of Los Angeles And New York
“I love these works not so much for their technical virtuosity, but for the resultant revelation of content. It is this aspect of Jeff’s work that leaves me breathless at the scope of his ambition and execution. This is Jeff’s love affair with what IS. There is no editorializing, no manipulation of reality. This is a concept based on joy and sensitivity to what he beholds.” – American Photographer Jay Maisel
I’ve always been a fan of Jeffrey Milstein’s photographs. His series, Aircraft, looked at the underbellys of planes while landing, but today we feature a personal project with a different perspective. His series, LANY: Aerial Photographs of Los Angeles and New York, is in some ways a love letter to the aerial perspective of the places he has great fondness for. As a child he was obsessive about all things airport and airplanes and by the age of 17 he passed his pilot’s exam. LANY: Aerial Photographs of Los Angeles and New York is being celebrated with a new book, published by Thames & Hudson and a new exhibition opening at the Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles, running from October 28 – December 23, 2017.
In his essay architectural writer and curator Owen Hopkins writes that “Milstein’s other identity, as an architect, is also highly visible in his work. His is both a photographer’s and an architect’s eye. We see this dualism play out in the consistency of his photographs, which are always composed close to a 90 degree angle to what is immediately below.” He concludes: “This book is at its heart a celebration of cities – which, along with the miracle of flight, are surely the greatest invention in the history of humanity.”
“Using the highest-resolution cameras available mounted to a stabilizing gyro, Milstein leans out of helicopters and does steep circles in small airplanes over Los Angeles where he grew up and over New York where he now lives, looking for shapes and patterns of culture from above, continually awed by the difference between the aerial view and the view on the ground. He emphasizes the abstraction of pattern and reveals aspects of urban design and planning of both cities at the same time as he offers an intensification of detail and an abundance of information. However high up the vantage point, he composes his images so that the viewer is still vividly aware of the human scale. In an intriguing proposition of compare and contrast from a bird’s eye point of view that combines architecture, science, and art, Jeffrey Milstein brings a fascinating new vision of aerial photographs with this stunning dual portrait of Los Angeles and New York”.
Milstein grew up in Los Angeles in the 1950s and ‘60s and as a child his favorite pastime was to watch airplanes at LAX as they landed, thundering over his head at speeds of up to 180 miles per hour. While in high school, he filmed aircraft landing at Santa Monica Airport with an 8mm movie camera, built and flew model airplanes, and at age 17, passed his private pilot exam. Since deciding to turn his camera downward, Milstein has chartered countless planes and helicopters to create a stunning portfolio of aerial photography featuring his two favorite cities published now in book form. Milstein continues to shoot from the air, and has branched out to cover other cities, including London, England.
Milstein currently resides in Woodstock, NY. His photographs have been published in New York Times, LA Times, Harper’s Bazaar, GQ, European Photography, American Photo, Eyemazing, Die Ziet, Wired, PDN, Esquire, and Conde Naste Portfolio.
His photographs have been exhibited and collected throughout the United States and Europe, and he is currently represented in the USA by Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles. Milstein’s work was presented in a solo show at the Ulrich Museum of Art in 2008. In 2012 his work was shown in a solo show at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, and is now being shown at Atlanta International Airport.
His work is included in permanent collections such as LACMA (Los Angeles, CA), the AT&T Collection, the Bank of America Collection, Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum (Washington, DC), Musee de l’Elysee (Lausanne, Switzerland) Portland Art Museum (Portland, OR), Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, SUNY,(New Paltz, NY), and The Ulrich Museum of Art (Wichita, KS) as well as many others.
My two cities are LA and NY.
LA is where I grew up and learned to fly as a teenager.
NY is where I moved after university, to start my
professional career as an architect and artist.
This book combines two of my life passions:
Flying and art. – Jeffrey Milstein
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