Out-of-town visitors may think that Central Park is off-limits, that it is full of, not necessarily lions and tigers and bears, but at least bandits, which may be true at 3 a.m.; however, in daylight hours, Manhattanites of all persuasions flock to this beloved green space, to make love, jog, watch and be watched, lie scantily clothed in the sun, or, unfortunately in some cases, set up housekeeping under a cardboard roof. Activities find certain limitations in winter, but some of the most arresting shots in this black-and-white album of what people do in Central Park, by an exceptionally talented and much-exhibited photographer, were taken against winter's blanket of snow. No chamber-of-commerce glorifying of city life here, but no unfair disparagement of it, either--Davidson's sharply focused photographs speak of a love of the diversity of human preoccupation and of the wonderful irony inherent in the very fact of Central Park's existence: that woods and meadows and ponds occur in the midst of one of the world's most intense urban areas. Any reader with an eye for evocative photography, particularly of the nuance of texture that only the black-and-white medium can achieve, will enjoy Davidson's photos. Brad Hooper
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From the Publisher
Text by Marie Winn.
Preface by Elizabeth Barlow Rogers.
Bruce Davidson's photographs of Central park reveal a haven of breathtaking beauty and ecological secrets, as well as a site for wondrous adventures.
Renowned as an intrepid explorer of the urban terrain, and a member of Magnum Photos, Bruce Davidson has challenged himself in a remarkable new way, by taking on the visual and metaphorical scope of Central Park. Always compassionate, often idiosyncratic, this work reveals a sublime and at times transcendent vision. Davidson seems as comfortable with a wedding, a landscape, or a roller skater as he does with Central Park's more permanent residents, a newborn bird or a man seeking refuge on a cold winter's night. Davidson has intuitively discovered a multiplicity of mysteries, eccentricities, and characters that together reflect the vibrant and complex city of which the park is the heart and soul. At the same time, Bruce Davidson's Central Park becomes a metaphor for a larger human experience.
With text by author, journalist, and translator Marie Winn, a preface by writer and former Central Park Conservancy director Elizabeth Barlow Rogers, and Davidson's own anecdotal reflections, Central Park provides an expansive view of this wonderfully intricate and varied space.
In 1966 Bruce Davidson, a member of Magnum Photos since 1958, became the first photographer to receive a grant from the NEA. In 1994 he was named Central Park's first artist-in-residence. Davidson lives in New York City.
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