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Street Photography in an Image-Filled Age|
By Sewell Chan
“Our Secret,” one of the images on view in “Manhattan Noon,” an exhibition of street photographs by Gus Powell at the Museum of the City of New York. (Photos: Gus Powell)
In our media-saturated culture, everyone is a picture-taker and image-maker, adding a new wrinkle to the work of those who practice the time-honored tradition of street photography.
“It’s harder and harder to take a picture without somebody in the picture who’s also taking a picture,” the Brooklyn-based photographer Gus Powell said on Tuesday evening, explaining that the mere act of taking a photo hardly makes him stand out in a crowd. “We all take pictures — that’s what we do. It’s more that your camera doesn’t look like a phone — that’s the bigger issue.”
周二晚，布鲁克林工作的摄影师Gus Powell说：“要像在照片中不包含另一位正在拍照的人真是越来越难了”，这说明凭借拍照的行为很难让他与别人区分开来。 “所有人都能拍照--确实如此。 更大区别是说我们的照相机不像手机--这是更重要的一点”
“Manhattan Noon,” a solo show of Mr. Powell’s photographs, opened at the Museum of the City of New York on Dec. 15 and is on view through April 20. To mark the occasion, the museum sponsored a panel discussion, “Eyes on New York,” with Mr. Powell and two leading street photographers: Jeff Mermelstein, who is based in New York, and Matt Stuart, who is based in London and runs In Public, a street photography Web site. Sean Corcoran, curator of prints and photographs at the museum, moderated the talk.
为Powell照片举办的个展《麦哈顿的午后》是在去年12月15日在纽约市博物馆举办；展期将一直延续到四月20日。 为了纪念这一活动，博物馆赞助了一次专题小组讨论会。 Powell先生和两位顶尖街道摄影师:纽约工作的Jeff Mermelstein 和在伦敦工作的Matt Stuart（Matt Stuart经营着一家街道摄影网站）。 会议是由博物馆印刷及照片馆馆长主持。
The photos in Mr. Powell’s new book, “The Company of Strangers,” which accompanies the exhibition, were loosely inspired by the poet Frank O’Hara (1926-1966), whose 1964 book “Lunch Poems” recorded his impressions strolling around Manhattan at noontime.
在展出中一同出现的Powell先生的新书《陌生人相伴》中的照片并不严谨地受到了诗人Frank O’Hara(1926-1966)的启发。 Frank O’Hara在1964年出版的《午餐诗歌》一书记录了在麦哈顿午后四处逛游的印象。
In a similar vein, Mr. Powell used his lunch breaks from his job as a picture editor at The New Yorker to amble around Midtown, recording the serendipitous moment. In “For J. Singer Sargent,” he recorded a couple’s passionate but oddly emotionless embrace; the man has a rather blank expression while the strap of his companion’s blouse has slipped down, revealing her shoulder — much like the subject of John Singer Sargent’s “Madame X” famously did, until the artist repainted the strap amid an outcry. For another image, “Our Secret,” Mr. Powell followed around a woman who, enigmatically, walked toward the New York Public Library’s main building, carrying a bouquet of flowers behind her.
按照相似的意念，Powell先生利用在The New Yorker做编辑时工作午间餐的时间从容漫步在市中心区，记录那偶然发现的一刻。 在“For J. Singer Sargent”中，他拍下来一对情侣动作热情但却是毫无感情的拥抱；当女方的短上衣滑下，漏出她的肩膀时；男子的表情十分地茫然---非常像John Singer Sargent’s “Madame X”中著名的举动；知道画家在忿怒中又重新把吊带画上。 另一副照片“我们的秘密”中，Powell先生跟踪着一位正神秘地朝纽约公共图书馆主大楼方向走去地女士。她在身后藏了一把鲜花。
Each of the photographers who spoke described encounters with street images as young men. Mr. Powell grew up in New York City and received a B.F.A. from Oberlin College in 1997. Mr. Mermelstein grew up in central New Jersey and studied at Rutgers University, urged by his mother to pursue a career in medicine or dentistry. Instead, he moved to New York in 1979 and got an internship at the International Center of Photography, where he studied with the photographer Garry Winogrand. Mr. Stuart, a street photographer for 11 years, was a skateboarder in London from the age of 12 and became captivated by photography after encountering the work of Henri-Cartier Bresson and Robert Frank.
Mermelstein 先生在新泽西中部长大；并曾在Rutgers大学学习，母亲催促他从事医学或牙科业。可是，他却在1979年来到了纽约，并在国际摄影中心获得了实习机会；在那里他同摄影家Garry Winogrand一起uexi。作为11年的街道摄影家，Stuart过去在伦敦从12岁开始就是滑板爱好者；在偶然地见到Henri-Cartier Bresson和Robert Frank的作品后从此就迷上了摄影。
Cartier-Bresson and Frank were among the historical influences cited by Mr. Corcoran, the curator, who gave a brief overview of the street photography tradition after the three photographers showed examples of their work. The overview included images by André Kertész, Helen Levitt, Lee Friedlander, Gary Winogrand, Tony Ray-Jones and Joel Meyerowitz.
Mr. Powell spoke about taking photographs of life outside his doorstep before he even knew what street photography was, and described Mr. Meyerowitz as a leading influence who helped him in “learning to be seduced by the smallest of things out on the street.”