Since the ground was broken, New York City's subway system has been the stuff of legend as well as a source of inspiration and fear. This dim, democratic environment provides the setting for photographer Bruce Davidson's re-issued first extensive series in color.
In Davidson's own words, "I wanted to transform the subway from its dark, degrading, and impersonal reality into images that open up our experience again to the color, sensuality, and vitality of the individual souls that ride it each day." In "Subway", passengers of the city's subterranean world are portrayed in detail, revealing the interplay of its inner landscape and outer vistas, set against a gritty, graffiti-strewn background and displayed in tones that Davidson describes as "an iridescence like that I had seen in photographs of deep-sea fish".
The photographs move from the menacing to the lyrical, from the soulful to the satiric. They include lovers, commuters, tourists, families, and the homeless. From weary strap-hangers to languorous ladies in summer dresses to stalking predators, Davidson presents a clear and compassionate vision of life in motion.
This new edition contains 42 additional photographs not previously included, a new forward by Fred Braithwaite (Fab Five Freddy), a graffiti artist who has become famous for his contribution to hip-hop music, and a new introduction by Arthur Ollman, the Director of the Museum of Photographic Art in San Diego. It also includes essays from the first edition of the book by Bruce Davidson and Henry Geldzahler.
Size: 10 x 12 1/4"
Publishers: Aperture (New York, 1986); St. Ann's Press (Los Angeles, 2003)