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Langdon Clay: Cars
New York City, 1974–1976
Forward by Luc Sante.
From 1974 to 1976, Langdon Clay (born 1949) photographed the cars he encountered while wandering the streets of New York City and nearby Hoboken, New Jersey, at night. Shot in Kodachrome with a Leica and deftly lit with then-new sodium vapor lights, the pictures feature a distinct array of makes and models set against the gritty details of their surrounding urban and architectural environments, and occasionally the ghostly presence of people.
“I experienced a conversion of sorts in making a switch from the ‘decisive moment’ of black and white to the marvel of color, a world I was waking up to every day,” Clay writes of this work. “At the time it seemed like an obvious and natural transition. What was less obvious was how to reflect my world of New York City in color … I discovered that night was its own color and I fell for it.”
Langdon Clay was born in New York City in 1949. He grew up in New Jersey and Vermont and attended school in New Hampshire and Boston. Clay moved to New York in 1971 and spent the next sixteen years photographing there, around the country and in Europe for various magazines and books. In 1987 he moved to Mississippi where he has since lived with his wife, photographer Maude Schuyler Clay, and their three children.
Featured image is reproduced from 'Langdon Clay: Cars.'
PRAISE AND REVIEWS
Road and Track
One car, one background—scenes of workaday machines, neglected and decrepit, resting in a sleeping metropolis. The best of these images are collected in a new book, Cars—New York City, 1974-1976, published by Steidl.
...lush and evocative...
L'Oeil de la Photographie
Clay’s book is called Cars but cars are only part of the story; he’s created a time capsule of New York in the ’70s, and a haunting reminder of just how big the night can be.
Langdon Clay’s photographs of the New York City streets have the luminous loneliness of an Edward Hopper painting.
STATUS: Out of stock indefinitely.
FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 4/20/2017
Is it the cars, or the backdrop of unstyled, nocturnal New York in the 1970s that makes this book so cool, so lonely feeling? More than 100 eerie, unpopulated photographs of parked cars are "arrayed like mugshots but lit like Hollywood stars," Luc Sante writes in the Foreword. "They rule the night, those Pintos and Chargers and Gremlins and Checkers and Galaxie 500s and Fairlanes and Sables and Rivieras and LeSabres and Eldorados. They unashamedly flaunt their dents, their rust spots, their mismatched doors, their liberal applications of Bondo, their repairs effected with masking tape—but then some of them revel in butch-wax jobs like you don't see anymore, gleaming like the twilight's last sigh." Featured image is "Rose Jewelers car, Ford Galaxie 500 XL (1966), Troy, NY," 1975. continue to blog
USD $80.00 | CAN $107.5
Pub Date: 5/23/2023