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The Eyes of the City

Afterword by Jonathan Ames / Foreword by Dave Isay

Timing, skill, and talent all play an important role increating a great photograph, but the most primaryelement, the photographer's eye, is perhaps the mostcrucial. In The Eyes of the City, Richard Sandlershowcases decades' worth of work, proving his eye forstreet life rivals any of his generation.

From 1977 to just weeks before September 11, 2001,Richard regularly walked through the streets of Bostonand New York, making incisive and humorous picturesthat read the pulse of that time.After serendipitously being gifted a Leica camera in1977, Sandler shot in Boston for three productive years
and then moved back home to photograph in an edgy,dangerous, colicky New York City.

In the 1980s crime and crack were on the rise and theireffects were socially devastating. Times Square, Harlem,and the East Village were seeded with hard drugs, whilein Midtown Manhattan, and on Wall Street, the richflaunted their furs in unprecedented numbers, and "greedwas good."

In the 1990s the city underwent drastic changes to lurein tourists and corporations, the result of which was rapidgentrification. Rents were raised and neighborhoods weresanitized, clearing them of both crime and character.Throughout these turbulent and creative years Sandlerpaced the streets with his native New Yorker's eye forcompassion, irony, and unvarnished fact.

The results are presented in The Eyes of the City,many for the first time in print. Overtly, they capture acomplex time when beauty mixed with decay, yet belowthe picture surface, they hint at unrecognized ghosts inthe American psyche.

Richard Sandleris a street photographer and documentary filmmaker. He has directed and shot eight non-fiction films, including The Gods of Times Square, Brave New York and Radioactive City. Sandler's still photographs are in the permanent collections of the New York Public Library, the Brooklyn Museum, the New York Historical Society, and the Houston Museum of Fine Art. He was awarded a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship for photography, a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation fellowship for Filmmaking, and a New York State Council on the Arts fellowship also for Filmmaking.