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|Notes on 42ND STREET||view bio|
Dan Weaks’ 78-inch-long portrait of New York City’s famed 42nd Street depicts a slice of life in the city that only exists today in memories.
Weaks created the image in 1982 by mounting a camera to the top of a car and photographing the passing view with a continuously snapping shutter. The frames were glued together and rephotographed to create a panorama that captured the neighborhood’s diversity, energy, and unabashed seediness. Where else could one have found Steven Spielberg’s Poltergeist, Blaxploitation films, and pornography showing on the same block?
The street’s more recent transformation into a comparatively sterile, Walt Disney–sponsored “family destination,” has been alternately applauded and bemoaned by longtime New Yorkers. None, however, could argue that Weaks’ portrait evokes an essential, uneraseable truth about the city and the variety that makes it tick.
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