The eye never has enough of seeing.

Ecclessiastes 1:8


What is the point of having a weblog if I can’t talk about things I like? One of them is the photography of William Meyers. He was my colleague on the culture desk of The New York Sun during its balmy years as a print publication . He writes on photography now for The Wall Street Journal. You might well have read his commentaries but you have not seen his own approach to the craft he observes. And celebrates.


William Meyers. Riverdale, NY.


Though he did not devote himself seriously to photography until the late ’90s when he was about 60, Meyers aligns himself with the generation of photographers who developed their visual language in the 1960s and ’70s. (He was born in 1938. Lee Friedlander was born in 1934, Joel Meyerowitz in 1938, William Eggleston in 1939). All were heirs of Garry Winograd, sophisticated documentarian of the 1960s’ social landscape. All shared a lively determination to seize small moments of humanity out of chance glimpses on the streets.


William Meyers. Broadway & 86th Street, Upper West Side (2009)


Let Bill explain himself:

Most of my pictures were taken on anonymous streets where the people of the place live and go about their business; they represent the quotidian, not the spectacular; they are the outer boroughs of the spirit as well as of the physical city. The work is not concerned with documentation, the way things look, but with . . . the feel of a place at a particular moment. Each image represents a certain time in a certain part of a certain city where, I have found, even in unlikely neighborhoods there are occasions for beauty.

. . . Rather than shoot intrinsically exciting sites like mid-town Manhattan, I sought out ones that would be considered uninteresting and tried to take compelling pictures of them.

His first solo exhibition opens this Tuesday at the Nailya Alexander Gallery, 41 E. 57th Street. If you are in Manhattan or passing through between then and June 8th, you might want to stop up to the gallery.


William Meyers. Williamsburg, Brooklyn (2005)

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