It’s a funny thing about street portraiture in that the artist’s work almost always represents the way the artist views himself. Brandon Stanton (AKA Humans of New York)? Well, now, right there you’ve got a working Joe with oodles of good will to spare. Scott Schuman (AKA The Sartorialist)? Well, now, there you’ve got a dapper Dan who fancies himself debonair. The point being, split-second portraiture is a proposition largely based on human trust. If the subject sees herself in the photographer, she’s much more likely to accept him at his word.
Enter Zoe Strauss, a self-taught phenom who extracts great beauty from stark pain. Strauss’s work, while not exclusively steeped in portraiture, tells the story of a broken city (Philadelphia), and the struggling, marginalized characters who Strauss encounters on its streets. Strauss’s 10 Years exhibit, which IFB originally profiled prior to its run at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, is given a much wider berth to breathe at ICP. The installation takes up an entire floor, with individual panels set aside for every photograph. The work is significant, at certain moments even jarring. Yet, to turn away would only be to reinforce the point. And the point is not to turn away.
(10 Years will be on view at the International Center of Photography until January 19, 2014. 1133 Avenue of the Americas @ 43rd Street.)
Five More For The Offing:
- ROD PENNER @ Ameringer/McEnery/Yohe (Free, 10/17-11/23, 525 West 22nd Street)
- Still Light by Marc Chalme @ Axelle Galerie (Free, through 10/27, 472 West Broadway)
- New York Over the Top by Max Kozloff @ Steven Kasher Gallery (Free, through 10/19, 521 West 23rd Street)
- Homeland by James Winn @ Fischbach Gallery (Free, through 11/9, 210 11th Avenue, Suite 801)
- Better Out Than In by Banksy (Including work at a new location every day throughout October)