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Sometimes Overwhelming

A reprint, now in paperback, of one of Arlene's best books. Gone but never forgotten, Arlene was beloved by many and her work deserves a larger audience. Start here.

Before gentrification, New York City was a gritty and inspiring place. And in its midst was Arlene Gottfried, whose eye for the sublime caught it all. Sometimes Overwhelming, her second powerHouse Book, is a manic yet romantic ode to the people of New York City in the 1970s and 80s. From Coney Island to a Hasid at Riis Beach's nude bay to the disco nights of sexual abandon and the children in the original Village Halloween parade, Sometimes Overwhelming is a delightfully lighthearted look at the most outrageous people you might ever see.

Arlene Gottfried, born in Brooklyn, graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, and worked as a photographer at an ad agency before freelancing for top publications, including The New York Times Magazine, Fortune, Life, and The Independent in London. Gottfried has exhibited at the Leica Gallery in New York and in Tokyo, and at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., among others. Her photographs can be found in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum of Art, The New York Public Library, and the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Berenice Abbott International Competition of Women's Documentary Photography. Gottfried is the author of Mommie (powerHouse Books, 2015), Bacalaitos & Fireworks (powerHouse Books, 2011), Sometimes Overwhelming (powerHouse Books, 2008), Midnight (powerHouse Books, 2003) and The Eternal Light (Dewi Lewis Publishing, 1999). A lecturer and a teacher, Gottfried lived and worked in New York City. She passed away August 8, 2017.

  • Publisher: powerHouse Books (September 4, 2018)
  • Length: 120 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781576879047

"She took up photography, casually snapping some of the greatest New York scenes ever caught on film, documenting an era of life that once defined the city, but has long since been erased."

– Feature Shoot

"In the years since her passing, her work has achieved a greater visibility and she is only now beginning to be recognized as a necessary part of the long, male-dominated story of street photography."

– Brownstoner

As Seen In: am New York, The Eye of Photography, PDN Photo of the Day, Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

More books from this author: Arlene Gottfried