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Bruce Davidson: Central Park [Paperback]

Marie Winn , Elizabeth Barlow Rogers , Bruce Davidson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

June 15 2005
Bruce Davidson, intrepid explorer of the urban terrain, has taken on a project of extraordinary visual and metaphorical scope. His approach to Central Park's wildlife--human and otherwise--varies as much in format as it does in emotional quality; Davidson discovers a multiplicity of mysteries, eccentricities and characters, a microcosm of the remarkable city of which Central Park is the heart.

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From Booklist

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 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Central View of "Central Park" Aug. 15 2000
Format:Hardcover
Bruce Davidson's "Central Park" is a compelling look at one of the world's most unique urban places. Unlike "Brooklyn Gang" or "Portraits," Davidson shoots his subjects here with a wide-angle panoramic camera. The result is fascinating as the images meld odd angles, distorted bodies and expansive views, and at no point does it come across as cliched or gimmicky. Instead, the photographs are hopeful, intimate, and revealing. Davidson shows us some of the park's secret places, but mostly he has discovered, through his visual explorations, the secret of what makes Central Park an essential part of New York life.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Central View of "Central Park" Aug. 14 2000
By Michael B. Richman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Bruce Davidson's "Central Park" is a compelling look at one of the world's most unique urban places. Unlike "Brooklyn Gang" or "Portraits," Davidson shoots his subjects here with a wide-angle panoramic camera. The result is fascinating as the images meld odd angles, distorted bodies and expansive views, and at no point does it come across as cliched or gimmicky. Instead, the photographs are hopeful, intimate, and revealing. Davidson shows us some of the park's secret places, but mostly he has discovered, through his visual explorations, the secret of what makes Central Park an essential part of New York life.
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece of human-hearted photography. Feb. 25 2014
By martin fritter - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Davidson has phenomenal range - obviously using a number of different cameras (discussed somewhat in the essay) - including a Noblex pano. Unlike the three star reviewer, if found the extreme wide angle work quite impressive - very difficult to pull off.

Davidson seems like the most humane of the NY street school - non-ironic and warm.
3.0 out of 5 stars Extreme angles Dec 4 2012
By Tim Malone - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I'm gonna be in the minority, but I found this book subpar. I love his Subway series, but this one fell flat for me. I found the distorted angles of his wide-angle lens distracting. They didn't add anything to the photos, they just made them look off. I found myself paying more attention to the distortion than to the subjects. I also really hate two-page spreads. Books don't lay perfectly flat. Two-page spreads become problematic.
Anyway, if you're looking for a Davidson book, get Subway instead.
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