Joel Meyerowitz: The art of street photography

Joel Meyerowitz street phopgraphy

All happened one simple day, when working as an art director at an advertising agency. This was the moment when Meyerowitz met photographer Robert Frank who was shooting a clothing brochure.

Meyerowitz remained fascinated by Frank’s moves while photographed and he had an incredible epiphany. On his way back to the office, Meyerowitz lost his way on the streets of New York, saying that ‚he felt like reading the text of the street in a way that he hadn’t before’.

When his journey began

When he reached the office, he told his boss that he quits, beucause his wish to become a photographer had become his primarly goal. Because people are sometimes amazing, his boss’s next question was if he has any camera. Of course the answer was no, but then Gordon (the boss) lent Meyerowitz a 35mm camera who embarked on the great journey of his life.

Since then, Meyerowitz never stopped chasing his dream and this led to numerous satisfactions: exhibitions at the MoMA, a Guggenheim Fellowship, published books and photography teaching courses at Cooper Union.

His love for street photography never faded, so there is always one place where you have the chance to run into Meyerowitz and maybe why not, beocome immortalized in his gargantuan body of work.

New York will always be his favorite studio

Though he has shot street scenes in France, Germany, Atlanta, Ohio and dozens of places in between, the chaotic streets of New York City make up his favorite studio. “Fifth Avenue is my boulevard,” he says. “No street in the world, and I’ve traveled a lot, has for me the kind of sexy, improvisatory collisions between elegance and lowness. You can see bike messengers and models, billionaires and hustlers, and it’s all out there every day”, says Joel for Time.com.

“The way someone makes a gesture on the street or the way couples react to each other or the simultaneity of two things happening at the same time and the relationship between them,” are some of the elements he looks for. “It was the wonder of human nature and this incredible capacity for things to keep showing themselves to me,” he says for Time.com.

“Photography takes place in a fraction of a second,” Meyerowitz says. “There isn’t a lot of time to think about things. You have to hone your instinct. You learn to hone that skill and timing so you’re in the right place at the right time.” Although he has made images that have moved audiences for decades, that has never been his true motivation. “I’m not out there to make another ‘great picture,’” he says. “I’m really out there to feel what it feels like to be alive and conscious in that moment. In a sense, the record of my photographs is a record of moments of consciousness and awareness that have come to me in my life”, he says for Time.com

Joel Meyerowitz’s  Street Photography

 

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Other shots of Joel’s

 

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Sources: www.time.com, www.nytimes.com, www.joelmeyerowitz.com