About this project
The New Yorkers is a color photography book of my New York City street pictures.
To complete The New Yorkers, I have to raise the funds necessary to make drum scans from the Kodachrome originals, hire a writer, a graphic designer and print a first edition of 1000 copies. It will be approximately a 140 page 8" x 10" hardcover book with 100+ color images. There has been serious interest from a number of well-regarded publishing houses but the reality of the industry today is that much more than just a great concept and images are required in order for them to publish and distribute the book.
The New Yorkers is a collection of my 30 years of color street photography. It is a document of the ever changing New York that I love and want to share with a wider audience. Many of the images were made in Soho, Little Italy, Tribeca, Greenwich Village and the Lower East Side in the 1970’s and 80’s. It documents a New York that has now almost disappeared. At that time, these neighborhoods were a mixture of three distinct groups: the people who had lived and worked there for many years and had their ethnic background in common, the artists who came in search of affordable living and studio space, and finally the more well to-do who instigated the process of gentrification with the seemingly inevitable exile of the original inhabitants. It was a time when graffiti was an integral part of the landscape, and the clash of cultures created a cacophony of voices.
These photos tell an authentic story of New York City: not a series of skyline cliches but real New Yorkers living and working in their own neighborhoods. As someone living alongside them and also struggling to make a living, I identified with the fragile vulnerability of the subjects of my photos. The New York I saw was not the hip, glamorous place depicted in fashion magazines or Hollywood movies. New York was the lives of overlooked, anonymous people struggling to endure in this harsh yet vibrant city.
For me, the book is a record of my personal journey to understand my place in the city of my birth and the one I chose to live in as an adult. It has taken me almost 30 years to be able to create a narrative from all the photos I took. It is a photographic exploration reflected in the faces of my fellow city dwellers and their environment. Some were survivors, some were crushed by the city, and some were just living day to day, from paycheck to paycheck. It took strength to survive: I too had to develop a sense of self and learn how to thrive and grow. Through the lens of my camera, my vulnerability met theirs at the moment of exposure: a photograph of someone whose heart is open to a stranger's camera says more about a New Yorker than I ever can in say in words.
"Few photographers have the eye, the grace and the ability to really see, in order to make great street images. Robert Herman has all those qualities, along with a driving passion to more fully realize his own aesthetic. I felt I was looking at a soulful, dead-on look at the city I was born in. His project is so fully realized, so sophisticated and compelling." Stella Kramer, Pulitzer Prize winning photo editor for The New York Times
How the funding will help
The costs include:
--making high end drum scans from the 100+ Kodachrome originals
--hiring a writer
--designing the book
--printing 1000 copies
--shipping to YOU, the potential investors
Thanks so much for your help!
And to read some interviews with Robert about The New Yorkers please visit:
A big thank you to Antonio M. Rosario for making the video.
HOW KICKSTARTER WORKS:
To make a pledge to The New Yorkers, click the green “Back This Project” button. You will be asked to enter your pledge amount and select a reward. Then, you will go through and must complete the Amazon checkout process. If our project is successfully funded, your card will be charged when The New Yorkers reaches its funding deadline.
The book in the video was a mock-up, or a maquette, as they say in the publishing industry. I made the mock-up to get feedback and to generate interest in the project.
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