I will always remember the delicious smell of fresh cement on a bracingly cold day in Chelsea.
West 23rd Street, in 2007 or 2008, and the HL23 was under construction. I didn’t know right then that I’d get to photograph part of that process from a bird’s eye perspective.
But that’s not really what this story is about at all. At least not entirely.
Because right behind the unending construction and the architectural curiosities, the art galleries with their hushed auras and polished cement floors, and “private” signs imprinted on smoked glass doors, stand you and me, somewhere near the edge of the periphery of the center of the action.
So, ultimately, it is a story of excitement and discovery, beckoning dreams, hope and disillusionment, and, finally, returning home with oneself at the end of the evening. It is the photo-story of my wanderings in Chelsea over the ten years from 2001-2011, condensed into the time frame of a single day.
This story is dedicated to me and to you, and to all of the artists dreaming of making it in a place like this, one of the most aloof of the arts districts to ever come down the pike of art-vending history.
I have shot hundreds of frames of film over duration of this project. All images were shot on 120 black and white film, which I hand-process. Prior to August 2006, I was using the 35mm film format.