Wandering the nameless and grid-like streets of New York you feel like a particle trapped in some kind of computersystem. The streets being streams of data rushing relentlessly through the motherboard. On the way to midtown the houses become ever larger and you seem to be more and more irrelevant, a lost particle in a perfectly structured system. After some time you reach the square shaped central park which looks like the green chip on the motherboard. The last refuge of mother nature on the island of Manhattan gives you a break and you may reflect upon the differences to European cities. By comparison they seem more naturally grown, shaped by history and necessity with dwindling roads and overgrown parks, more human and less grid like. They are designed as well of course, but their artificiality seems to be hidden behind history, individuality and to be more human in size. But if the buildings seem to touch the sky and the roads are endless grids everything may be possible in the end and that’s the secret of the so called American dream: To escape the motherboard, to be more than a nameless particle, you need to find a way through the grid and climb the sky.
Monochrome photography shot in New York City end of April / beginning of May 2018.
Travelling to New York in April you notice that it’s still much colder there than in Europe. There was a major blizzard right before we arrived in 2018 (the last one in the season), and the mood in the city was rather grim. Though it’s not a bad time to visit the city as it was not as packed as I usually imagine it to be. There were some quiet moments to have, even in busy Manhattan. Time to look around and observe the last moments of winter right before the dawn of spring.
Being in Washington D.C. in 2018 you feel the turmoil on the streets. There are lively discussions between strangers about the country and it’s future. Very often between tourists from within America, many of them from conservative states, and mostly liberal and black locals. It’s a political town and one that tries to encapsulate the rich American history within walking distance. It feels like an open air museum sometimes, but there are different parts of the city of course. Like the American society itself DC is hard to grapple and can mean different things to different people. The city is interesting for sure and worth a visit.
In 2015 I put up a series about Portuguese tile art on this website. The article is still one of the most clicked on here. A couple of years later I want to start the year with coming back to the topic and showing more of these magnificent Azulejos, as they are called. This time around though they are not as clean and shiny, they are more washed out, sprayed, beaten and even rusty. They tell stories of everyday life in Portugal, how nature blends in with them and how street artists use them as canvas.