Indepth Arts News: |
"Photographs By Martin Elkort"
2002-03-16 until 2002-04-28
Los Angeles, CA,
USA United States of America
From 1946 to 1956 Martin Elkort wandered the streets of New York City
photographing people in the business of living their lives. With a twin
lens reflex camera many subjects never noticed, he captured tradespeople,
shoppers and shopkeepers, garment workers, mailmen and members of social
clubs. His New York photographs include a series of Manhattan street life,
Coney Island leisure seekers and concentration camp survivors being
trained in the needle trades at the ORT school (Organization for
Rehabilitation and Training).
In ElkortÝs New York, people and their surroundings ˝ the streets,
buildings and signage -- seem to belong to the same organic entity. He not
only shows us the vitality and drama of the city, he clearly is an element
of it. The people in his images may have been unaware they were being
photographed, but somehow they seem to be in the room with the viewer,
looking us over or leaning close, crackling with life.
An avowed humanist, Elkort says of his work: Happiness is as deep, as
resonant, as valid a theme as misery, war, and poverty. Joy, however, is
harder to photograph. Misery is more obvious; on the surface, it seems
more profound. My pictures often seek out the joy of living. ElkortÝs
definition of joy conceders a complex range of emotions, rising out of the
actions and habits of everyday life that affirm our existence.