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New York City

Provocation on Broadway Lafayette

August 9, 2012

Broadway Lafayette, New York, Calvin Klein

Calvin Kelin’s provocative billboards do not cease to amaze me. The picture above was the first one I took. I was so impressed!

Maybe because of the size of the ad, maybe because of the daring look on the models’ face, or because they looked so real; like they were watching us, the people in the street, watching them… or maybe because I loved how the backdrop of Manhattan, north of Houston street, worked well with that ad.

Since that day, every time I get off at Broadway and Lafayette subway station, the first thing I do is look up at the Calvin Klein’s ad and see what’s up. No doubt the sultry billboards on the corner of  Houston and Crosby street, a series of Calvin Klein ads, have raised some eyebrows even for a city that has seen it all.

And this is no wonder; Calvin Klein has a long history of advertisements that push the envelope. It started way back in the 1980 to when nothing came between the 15 years old Brooke Shields and her Calvins, continued with the ‘heroin chic’ look back in the 1990s with strung-out-looking models, complete with pale skin and dark circles under their eyes and continued with Eva Mendes in sexy lingerie, pulling a boxer brief of a studly looking guy.

For someone who is coming from the advertising world, I must admit that Yes, advertising DOES work!

At least for us. Because right after I saw that Eva Mendes ad, I went straight to the nearest Calvin Klein store in Soho, to get myself those black panties and bra.

Those huge billboards have become a common view on that corner. They fit well with the nature of New York; daring, provocative, sexy, hot. Since that first time I saw those ads, I keep coming back. And every time I get off at Broadway Lafayette, I have to take a picture. Because there is always something to look at.

Broadway Lafayette, New York, Calvin Klein

Broadway Lafayette, New York, Calvin Klein

Broadway Lafayette, New York, Calvin Klein

Broadway Lafayette, New York, Calvin Klein

New York, Calvin Klein, Soho

Window or Aisle?

My Love for Street Art or How it all started

May 1, 2011

New York City is home to a great amount of museums–whether they are art museums, historical museums, design or cultural ones, this city has them all. But as much as it is blessed with great variety and unparalleled quality, I believe that the real museums are not among the four walls, but outside, on the streets. As a photographer based in New York, the streets of this city have always been a great inspiration for my photography: whether it’s the architecture, the city reflections on windows, the stream of energy in the streets, the people walking in it, the titanic billboards and advertising ads, the colorful murals and the graffiti on the walls. It all inspires me.

Before I continue, I have a confession to make. I have a ‘thing’ for documenting graffiti and street art. It all started a few years ago when I wandered the streets of Soho and came across a painted purple corky image on a door. Intrigued, I took a picture of that character.

graffiti, urban art, street art, NY, Soho

The next day, when I came back to take more pictures, someone has already posted and painted something else next to it, which turned it completely to something else. Something different. Something new. I then realized that the feeling of “Here today, gone tomorrow” is not only relevant for the world of photography, but even more so to street art and graffiti. Furthermore, photography and street art are inexplicably linked because the only documentation street art has is through a picture (or video).

Sometimes all it takes is taking a wrong turn in one of the streets of New York to discover something new on one of the walls. The more I started to search for street art, the more I learned about its culture and the artists behind it, even though most keep an anonymous identity or are known by their pseudonyms.

What I love about street art is its accessibility but at the same time, you needs to know more about the culture of a place to decipher its message. With time, my curiosity about street art has taken me beyond the streets of New York to those of major cities such as Berlin, Buenos Aires, Paris, London, Tel Aviv and many more cities to come.