I can sleep through the sound of growling trucks in downtown Brooklyn. But in the country, the birds wake me up as the sun rises and the sky opens up to a new day. I look forward to the wonder, stillness, beauty and solitude of this moment.
Here, I share photographs of the sky, ocean, fields, woods and streets of Eastern Long Island and my dialogue with the elements.
I have always marveled at the beauty of the locations in these photographs. But when I picked up a camera, I began to more closely watch and feel the thrill of the changing light that falls upon them and enhances their character.
The full book sis 7x7 inches and features 20 images.
Places of Grace
A garden often begins with a romantic dream, becomes an obsession, and then turns into a commitment to the land. For centuries, French gardens have been considered, designed and pruned to create a structured, styled and perfumed refuge from the outside world, a place of grace.
On a recent trip to France I met many gardeners living their dreams on the Île de France. This is the area that surrounds Paris, where kings and queens once ruled. Here, I found a profound sense of duty and ambition to guard France’s patrimoine or heritage through its gardens.
Some châteaux and their gardens survived the French Revolution, others were destroyed, and renovations of historic gardens are still taking place. Some of these sites are far from a city or town, and it can be difficult to find a strong and skilled gardener willing to move his or her family there.
Visiting these enchanted places, I felt very much like someone from the New World visiting the Old World. French schoolchildren ran around the labyrinths of the châteaux, uninhibited, yelling “Arrivé! Arrive!” when they reached the center. To me, the labyrinths spelled “stay in line.”
In fairy tales, forests and woods are exciting and dangerous places to hide or to discover the hidden. When I hiked through the Bois de Boulogne, in Paris’ 16th arrondissement in order to reach the Parc de Bagatelle, a gentleman walking his dog steered me away from pathways popular with a “certain population.” He later checked up on me, ensuring I would find my way. I eventually reached the Parc de Bagatelle, which is formal, proper and well groomed. It is a perfect place for a gentle stroll among wisteria-covered pergolas, rows of multi colored irises, roses and cone-shaped yews.
My journey through the gardens of France ended as my tour bus arrived in Normandy to see Claude Monet’s home in Giverny. Despite the crowds and hype, it felt magical. The water garden, with its Japanese-style bridges and rowboats, made me feel like I was stepping inside one of Monet’s painting and into a bygone era. Monet said that his garden was his best of work of art, and the presentation of wisteria, foxgloves, poppies, irises, roses, clematis and tree peonies was dazzling. It had rained that morning and the water droplets remaining on the flowers reflected the light beautifully. It was an impressionist moment – I was in the right place at the right time.
The book is 7" x 7", with 25 images.
Château de Courances
Bois de Boulogne, Paris
Château de Courances
Jardin de Claude Monet, Giverny
Jardin de Campagne, Grisy-les-Plâtres
Diptychs ⎮ NYC
My father would roll over in his grave if he knew that my husband and I raised our kids in Brooklyn. He worked so hard to get out. I moved to New York City in 1974, when it was in a fiscal crisis and everywhere but Manhattan was considered a dismal outer borough. The city has dramatically taken on a new life since then, a new vision and new purpose. For this book, I wandered around New York City revisiting neighborhoods that I've known for years and exploring others that I knew only slightly.
The full book is 10x10 inches and features 57 images.
Paris Before the Attacks
Paris has attitude in spades. It has a regal air and knows it is the cultural capital of the world. The center of Paris, with its royal heritage, is magnificent and seductive, and is governed by strict rules that date back to Haussmann’s 19th century master plan for the city’s building facades and height that protect its patrimony but do not allow for variation.
Just like the outer boroughs and outskirts of New York City, the outer arrondissements and suburbs of Paris have become more vibrant. New museums, apartment buildings, offices, bridges, libraries and community gardens have sprouted. Here, architects and designers are permitted to use different materials, heights, facades, shapes and styles.
In this project, I share sides of Paris that most people would not have had the time to see, and Parisian faces I would not have otherwise met had I not had a camera in hand.
The full book is 10x10 inches and features 19 images.
Boulevard Haussmann, 9th arr.
Rue Beethoven, 16th arr.
Along the Seine, 4th arr.
Palais Galiera, 16th arr.
Park, 7th arr.
Passarelle Simone de Beauvoir, 12th & 13th arr.
Château de Fontainebleau, Fontainebleau
Paris After the Attacks
These photographs are about a New Yorker’s empathy and compassion for Paris and the city’s resolve to return to a state of normalcy after the terrorist attacks of November 13, 2015. There was a profound sadness in Paris, compounded by a hyper alertness related to the city’s responsibility to protect high-level foreign dignitaries during an international climate conference.
I was there shortly after the shootings, accompanying my husband on a six-week business trip. I had brushed up on my French at Berlitz, planned to photograph volume 2 of my books about the city and wanted to take a lot of street portraits. But under the circumstances, it would have been inappropriate to ask people if I might take their photograph. The wounds were still very raw and there was a feeling of suspicion in the air.
Instead, this project turned out to be part photo-documentary and part meditation. I tried to show the city's ambiance both directly and indirectly. I took photographs of soldiers, police, the sites of the attacks and still-lifes of the tributes to the deceased. I also tried to convey the pain through the emptiness and colors of the streets, as well as through ghostlike figures paying homage to the young victims, which I captured through slow-motion photographs. I did not intend to show the fear of Muslims living in Paris, but it became apparent in a photograph of a woman hurrying across a footbridge.
I also tried to show the beginnings of the healing process through the motion of the traffic, boys playing ball, families strolling on a quay, or children riding on a merry-go-round. Just as New Yorkers had bonded together and appreciated each other more after 9/11, Parisians seemed to be one family. Everyone seemed to know someone who had been a victim or else know someone who knew someone that had been a victim.
The full book is 7x7 inches and features 31 images.
Place Saint-Michel, 6th arr.
Beware of Appearances, 19th arr.
Avenue Daumesnil, 12th arr.
On Patrol, 18th arr.
Place de la République, 3rd, 10th and 11th arr.
Rue des Juges-Consuls, 4th arr.
Rue de l'Hôtel de Ville, 4th arr.
Place du Carrousel, 1st arr.
The Changing Landscape of Retail
I took these pictures because I was rattled by what I saw on the streets of New York City. I was further drawn to the topic by what I read in the newspaper and learned by talking to retailers and researching the economic trends that are causing the changing landscape of retailing.
We have been witnessing a rapid pace of business closures and increasing credit issues with retailers and landlords. Between rising retail values and concomitant commercial tax rates and pricing pressure from online shopping sites, traditional retailing is becoming increasingly unaffordable. This will have a profound impact on the city’s revenue base, our attraction as a global shopping destination, the way our streets and neighborhoods look.
In this photography and video project, I explore what is gone, what will disappear and what will replace it.
The show is currently on exhibit at University of Connecticut, One University Place, Stamford, Connecticut. https://stamford.uconn.edu
The Changing Landscape of Retail
The Water Closet
There is a quietness and feeling of nostalgia in my Brooklyn home now that my children have grown. I see stillness in a vase of lilies, solitude in a sponge sitting in the corner of the bathtub, and calmness in a sink slowly filling with bubbles.
I recently walked into my Brooklyn bathroom, was struck by the morning light that filled room and took a picture. When I saw the results, I was amazed that something as banal as a toilet or a towel could become poetic, even anthropomorphised, when bathed in a certain type of light.
Here, a meditation on my bathroom.
The full book is 7x7 inches and features 20 images.