Marc Yankus: New York Unseen
It’s a rare day in New York City when the traffic–pedestrian and vehicle–allows for the city’s architecture to be on full display. Fortunately for us, photographer Marc Yankus helps us celebrate the majesty of more than a century of urban architecture, with his series, New York Unseen. Marc recently opened an exhibition at ClampArt in New York that will run through November 16th, 2019. The exhibition at ClampArt coincides with a solo show of his work at Grand Central Terminal. Organized by MTA Arts and Design, the exhibition is titled Landmark City, and will be on display in the lower level Dining Concourse through July 2020. He also has an exhibition, Your Very Own Paradise, on view until November 24, 2019, at the Oakland University Art Gallery, in Rochester, Michigan.
His photographs are a love letter to New York. “Panoramic shots of such iconic subjects as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the main branch of the New York Public Library share Yankus’ vision with majestic residences including The Dakota and One Fifth Avenue and more homely subjects like a fence in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and a streetscape in the West Village. Some of the work is shot head-on with precise symmetry and other views are dramatic, with oblique, aerial perspectives, providing views of famous buildings and familiar city streets from a decidedly unfamiliar vantage point. By eliminating movement and distraction, the artist distills his subjects down to their pure essence, revealing their souls and recognizing them as witnesses to the change of time.”
Marc Yankus’s fine art and publishing experience span a period of more than forty years. Yankus’s work has been included in exhibitions at The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York; the George Eastman House, Rochester, New York; the South Street Seaport Museum, New York City; and the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. His artwork has graced the covers of books by Salman Rushdie, Philip Roth, and Alan Hollinghurst, among many others. His images have also been used for theatrical posters for such acclaimed Broadway shows as “Jane Eyre”; August Wilson’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”; and John Patrick Shanley’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, “Doubt.” Yankus’s work is represented in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the New York Historical Society, New York City; and the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C.
New York Unseen
New York City has been my playground for most of my life. I have always been drawn to the historical architecture and wondered about the different lives that have lived there. Photographing these historical building is a form of time travel.
I can go back to the 1700s, 1800s and early 1900s with the click of my camera.
Ironically, quiet is a huge part of my life considering I live in one of the busiest cities in the world. For 23 years I have lived in the back of a building in the West Village, which is in total silence. I love the city even although I avoid crowds and noisy bars. I am drawn to energy, architecture, parks and way of life.
In this body of work, I have created a universe absent of people, cars and stores. This allows you to focus on the architectural beauty found in these historical buildings. Through a unique form of digital collage, I attempt to mute some of the visual noise that can distract viewers from their essential beauty, allows the viewer to see all of the buildings and in the process help them see their city anew.
By isolating these buildings in order to reveal their soul, I perceive them as a witness to the change of time.
“In my portraits of New York’s buildings, I aim to mute some of the visual noise that can distract from their essential beauty, allowing the viewer to see the entirety of each building and in the process helping them see the city anew. They are captive subjects, frozen in time, with history etched on their surfaces and inside the buildings themselves.” – Marc Yankus
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