Garvey|Simon is pleased to present TEN BLOCKS, a collection of archival pigment prints from the NYC street photographer, Daniel Featherstone. The exhibition will be on view through August 28, 2021 on Artsy.net and by appointment at Garvey|Simon’s private NYC viewing room.
A British transplant, Daniel Featherstone documents Manhattanites with the care and reverence of a visitor. This collection of images hails from Midtown Manhattan, more specifically, the ten-block radius surrounding Grand Central Terminal—Featherstone’s work commute. The exhibition encapsulates the array of socioeconomic backgrounds, generations, tourists and locals alike who inhabit these storied sidewalks. These images exist in the same vein as Frank O’Hara’s Lunch Poems, fresh and devilishly simple portrayals of New York’s maelstrom. Once a contemporary of Bill Cunningham, Featherstone is attracted to speculative glances, carefully curated styles, and attitudes that elevate his subjects from passersby to icons. Whether members of New York’s aristocracy, self-appointed royals, or the downtrodden and struggling, Featherstone’s serendipitous narratives celebrate New Yorkers in all their diverse forms.
Featherstone’s experience as a graffiti artist and graphic designer heavily influence his sense of composition. Struck by audacious punches of color, and bold, almost impenetrable lines, Featherstone’s images are confrontational in their compressed two-dimensionality. There is an element of danger implicit in Featherstone’s photographs – perhaps a holdover from his covert graffiti operations – a stilled moment in which his subjects either acquiesce, remain oblivious, or lunge in attack. Featherstone recalls, “I remember one gentleman reacted very adversely after I took a shot of his wife 20 years his junior. He started screaming ‘Poliiiice’ at the top of his lungs. It shook me up for a while. I guess that is part of being a street photographer and you just have to accept that sometimes you have to be prepared for anything.”
I really like Daniel Featherstone’s photographs. A lot of them stop me in my tracks, Kafka-like, with some inner ocean of shock or recognition. – Jerry Saltz, Pulitzer Prize-winning art critic