Grady's Reviews > New York

New York by Christopher Bliss
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Aug 09, 11


The New York City 'Landscape'

Christopher Bliss is a photographer who understands architectural landscapes and probably few other photographers have been able to capture the spectrum of styles, changes, majesty, and assembled mass as Bliss. This book is simply images. Yes there is a brief but poignant introduction by Susan Bliss, PhD suggesting why new York is unique among the cities of the world and myriad reasons why this is so (in five languages), but the remainder of the portfolio is devoted to the visual impact that New York has made on Chrisptopher Bliss.

The images are in both crystalline black and white and full color and it become obvious that there is an unwritten narrative in progress as the book opens with views of the Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi 1885 sculpture, The Statue of Liberty, a gift of appreciation from France to the United States that continues to stand boldly as a welcoming beacon of promise to the immigrants of the world. From there Bliss takes us through the noise of the city, with images of rushing people and cars accompanying the slowly elevated view of the superstructures above the level of the land. From both aerial shots to image composed on the ground Bliss manages to highlight the extraordinary museum of architecture the city presents to the viewer, calling our attention to periods of style in design and building art that walking the sidewalks fails to unveil. The bridges, the parks, the waterways, the park benches of people, the little stores, the vistas of the entire skyline, the images of the arts institutions, photographs by day and by night - rarely have we been so fortunate to see this much of the megalopolis.

But in addition to the sheer grandeur of the special place named New York, NY Christopher manages to insert the human vantage, making this monograph invitingly personal as well as being a profound survey of urban architectural history.

Grady Harp
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