Monday, 22 June 2020
Abe's private city
In the Preface, written by the book's editor Jurgen Tesch, he writes that he asked Frajndlich many times to consider a book of New York pictures but the idea was always rejected because, he said, his city photos could never meet his standards for a photobook. Eventually Tesch got his way and this book is the result. I've looked through it several times and I wonder if Frajndlich was maybe right.
The seventy-five mono photos seemed to lack any particular focus, a varied mixture of street scenes, architecture, especially skyscrapers, portraits, Central Park, Coney Island and more. They were taken between 1978 and 2017 and maybe Frajndlich was correct, these photos taken during his wanderings through the city are essentially private and don't easily lend themselves to a photobook. Another point is that, although the photos are printed with an impressive 250 screen, the paper ends up giving them a constant grey look. The paper doesn't allow any of them to sparkle on the page but maybe the original negatives were uniformly grey and dark.