I collected this group of photos last fall, when I was thinking along the lines of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s idea of the “decisive moment” in photography, less in the sense of anxiously capturing a perfect image and more in the sense of pausing a moment before it passes. Something about the various lights at Smith and 9th this day made me feel that kind of pause.
Last fall, the Kentile sign appeared secure in its place in the Brooklyn skyline, but a couple weeks ago scaffolding went up around it, and the news rippled out that the owner planned to demolish it. While a community outcry ensured the sign itself would be kept as it was dismantled, it's hard to imagine its significance being equal installed in another location. Its position directly alongside the F train's brief mid-Brooklyn jaunt over the Gowanus and its survival for so many years after the company's demise (due to the use of asbestos in their products) are mostly what made it so interesting and Instagrammable.
As for the other photos:
- The We Trust truck has been parked nearby in that lot for a while, though these days it sports more graffiti.
- This series also includes some public art, including perhaps the most ideal location for Steve Lambert’s “Capitalism Works for Me!” and part of J R’s “Inside Out” series Times Square (see also: New Yorkers Walked Over, for Once).
- When I was selecting photos, I chose another MOMA sculpture garden photo, forgetting that I posted a grainier garden moment last year. I think this view tends to create a decisive frame for me.
- The elephants were found in Douglas Gordon’s “Play Dead; Real Time.”
- Sometimes you come home to find the moon waiting for you.