New York's world-renowned Bowery in the early 70s as seen through the eyes of one of the great documentarians of the city's underbelly, Ed Grazda.
Up until the late 20th century the Bowery was a notorious place of cheap hotels and bars-New York's infamous skid row, where the city's down-and-out found each other and made do the best they could. Inspired by Lionel Rogosin's classic 1956 filmOn the Bowery, Ed Grazda'sOn The Boweryshows the weathered life and times he encountered on the Bowery in 1971. Perhaps the grittiest part of the city in those years, Grazda captured all the sorrow, hardship, and general bad luck upon the faces of those who called the Bowery their home. The unfiltered and barrierless street view is where Grazda has always been most comfortable shooting, and once again we are the beneficiaries of his intrepid spirit. Captured before gentrification changed the stripand surrounding neighborhood into a tourist destination with museums, upscale retailers, clubs, and fancy restaurants, Grazda provides an important reminder to us all that it was only a few decades ago that the Bowery was a much different scene-and that New York never stops evolving.
Edward Grazda was born in Queens, New York (1947), and got his BFA from RISD in 1969. He has photographed in the USA, Latin America, and Asia. Published books include: Afghanistan Diary 1992-2000 (2000), NY Masjid: The Mosques of New York (2002), A Last Glance: Trading Posts of the Four Corners (2015), Mean Streets: NYC 1970-1985 (2017), and On the Bowery: NYC 1971 (2019)–all from powerHouse Books. Grazda's work is in the collections of the MoMA, The Met, New York Public Library, and SFMoMA in San Francisco. He has taught at Harvard, Boston Musuem School and the International School of Photography (ICP) in New York City. Once a proud denizen of Bleecker Street (photographer's row), he now lives in Chilmark, MA.