/ Boulder

What are YOU lookin' at?!

I came across this very interesting art piece, by way of Kottke's website. It upset me.

First of all, this guy is essentially ripping off Walker Evans. Walker did it better, far better, and he did it seventy friggin' years ago. But there's more to this story.

The Walker Evans photos from his 1938 project are really haunting because they were taken with a hidden camera; they capture the very souls of New Yorkers trying to endure the daily grind of city life. These Bill Sullivan photos are more in the "caught on camera" vein, which is a little more obvious -- more supermarket tabloid work than photographic art, and it annoys me that this is being peddled as the latter.

But the really disturbing thing is that all the people in the Sullivan piece look either really tired, really pissed off, really harried, or some combination of the three (Except for the dude walking through the turnstile with a brand new pair of Skyway TuffWheels (and you can't help but feel happy for that guy (where in the hell did he find those gems, anyway?))).

Those turnstile photos reminded me of my life as a New Jerseyite commuting to Manhattan every day, and my daily experiences ebbing and flowing amidst the many different kinds of wildlife calling New York City home. Honestly, in retrospect, I hated it, and these photos illustrate quite well the mood of the average New Yorker: the "what are you lookin' at", the "ugh", the I can't take much more of this", the "why am I doing this", the "there's got to be something better"; the "go fuck yourself".

Well, after a year and a half of living 2,000 miles from New York City, I can say that there is something better, and that I wouldn't trade this for the world, despite all the goddamned snow.