[April 4 2012]
A portrait of Olivier Zahm in New York by his favorite Japanese photographer Daido Moriyama in his book No.15, a personal publishing project called Record.
The creator of the photography book New
York, William Klein once described the city in which he was born and raised as
a “mixture of beauty, tenderness, absurd brutality, and fathomless
intimidation” before leaving for Paris. Likewise, in his novel Another Country,
James Baldwin let his character Rufus, a black young man who drowns himself in
Hudson River, complain, “You took the best, so why not take the rest?” before
Baldwin headed off to Paris as well. And finally, Jack Kerouac, who gave us with
On The Road one of my favorite accounts of a vagabond life, reportedly jumped
onto a train to visit his mother at home in Lowell in the outskirts of Boston
whenever his life in Manhattan got too woeful and frustrating.
The city of New York, and the Manhattan
neighborhood in particular, is certainly one huge melting pot of human desires,
and as one can easily imagine that it is an extremely practical location, it
seems just natural to me that an artist of a nervous and sensitive nature
sooner or later feels like plotting an escape.For myself, however, who is always just a
traveler, Manhattan has that throbbing something that attracts and spellbinds
people – although it might of course be different if I wasn’t only visiting.
New York is filled with a vague scent of mescaline while the smell of Andy
Warhol is billowing out of every street.