Camilo José Vergara – Photographs of Harlem: The People and Harlem: The Place

Photographer Camilo José Vergara has been shooting photos of inner-cities since the 1970’s, and images he captured in Harlem New York have been a big part of his portfolio.  The New-York Historical Society has taken notice and have launched an exhibition of photographs by Camilo José Vergara which will be shown in two cycles: Harlem: The People and Harlem: The Place.

The first installation, Harlem: The People, will run from February 17 –  June 10, featuring the personalities and people of Harlem as seen by Vergara, while the second show Harlem: The Place will focus on buildings, storefronts, streets, and city blocks in Harlem when it runs from June 13 – September 16.  Camilo José Vergara’s images provide a view of the many changes that have occurred over the past few decades in Harlem NYC.

A quote from Camilo José Vergara:

Since 1977 I have been recording changes in the urban world, becoming along the way an archivist of decline, a documentarian of walls, buildings, and city blocks. Bricks, signs, trees, and sidewalks: these were things that spoke to me as truthfully and eloquently about urban reality as the people. I felt a people’s history-their accomplishments, failures and aspirations-were not only reflected in their faces and their bodies, but in the material world in which they lived and which they helped to shape….” If I did not get an image right the first time, I could return the following week….I chose to record the changing nature of the city itself…I saw my mission as compiling a record of the destruction and violence done to New York at the height of America’s urban crisis of the 1960s and 1970s.

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