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Sylvia Plachy: Goings On About Town

Overview

Sylvia Plachy was the first photographer ever to be assigned to shoot the opening picture of the essential Goings On About Town section of The New Yorker. She did so for more than a year, in conjunction with the legendary magazine's front section redesign of 2005. From the Mermaid Parade on Coney Island to Forest Park in Queens, from backstage to center stage, in Goings On About Town, Plachy explores the city's dynamics from the inside out, revealing the vital, and, at times, wacky creativity that energizes New ...
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Overview

Sylvia Plachy was the first photographer ever to be assigned to shoot the opening picture of the essential Goings On About Town section of The New Yorker. She did so for more than a year, in conjunction with the legendary magazine's front section redesign of 2005. From the Mermaid Parade on Coney Island to Forest Park in Queens, from backstage to center stage, in Goings On About Town, Plachy explores the city's dynamics from the inside out, revealing the vital, and, at times, wacky creativity that energizes New York City around the clock. In so doing, she presents hidden gems that most of us never have a chance to see up close--like Macy's New Jersey workshop for the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade. Plachy's humor and way of looking is particularly suited to such offbeat assignments. Almost entirely in color, this volume also includes some images that have never been published before. Joyful and idiosyncratic, Goings On About Town is quintessentially Plachy, and quintessentially New York.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Plachy, a photographer for The New Yorker, is a master of candid street photography à la Henri Cartier-Bresson, capturing the perfect moment all about the greater Gotham metropolis. Copublished by Aperture and The New Yorker, the Hungarian-born photographer's latest book gathers nearly 100 whimsical, documentary images recently published as openers to the magazine's front section of weekly event listings. Plachy (mother of actor Adrien Brody) records with mercurial humor a charming variety of New York life: e.g., performers of all types, on stage and behind the curtains; children and workers in museums; and outdoor pleasure grounds. Her abiding love of the cultures and landscapes making up the New York region is here manifest. Though similar in scope, Cooper's book (Hip-Hop Files: Photographs, 1979-1984) is an altogether grittier document of the city. Her images all date from the embattled 1970s, when New York was in financial ruin and whole neighborhoods like the South Bronx epitomized urban decay in the popular imagination. Cooper at the time was a staff photographer for the New York Post, and her camera records the city under a preponderance of snow, litter, heat, and apparent desuetude. One might easily conclude from all the coatings of dust and grimy snow that this was America's least aesthetically pleasing decade. Yet the gregarious joy evident in so many of the uncaptioned, unidentified black-and-white photos-e.g., of children posing before graffitied walls, of sunbathers on collapsing piers-reveals an optimism that Cooper's affectionate gaze obviously couldn't resist. Involving as they are, these collections are not essential for mostlibraries, but they would make excellent gifts for Big Apple natives and/or aficionados.
—Douglas F. Smith

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781597110518
  • Publisher: Aperture Foundation
  • Publication date: 10/28/2007
  • Pages: 104
  • Product dimensions: 9.98 (w) x 6.76 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Meet the Author

Born in Budapest in 1943, Sylvia Plachy's photo essays and portraits have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the Village Voice, Granta, Artforum, Fortune, and other publications, and have been exhibited in galleries and museums around the world. Her most recent book, Self Portrait with Cows Going Home, was published by Aperture in 2004.

Mark Singer has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1974. He has contributed hundreds of Talk of the Town stories as well as profiles and reporter-at-large pieces. His most recent books are Somewhere in America (2004) and Character Studies (2005).

Elisabeth Biondi has been Visuals Editor of The New Yorker since 1996. Previously, she was the Director of Photography at Stern and Vanity Fair and picture editor at GEO USA.

Matthew Sleeth's work has been exhibited at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, among other international venues. His 2002 publication, Tour of Duty, exploring the Australian presence in East Timor, is featured in Martin Parr's The Photobook: A History, Volume II.

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