New York Photo Review
from the NYPR Archives

Making Caribbean Dance by Susanna Sloat
The Genetic Wars by Barbara Confino
Soho Photo Gallery
Central Booking Magazine

David Stephenson
Light Cities
Reviewer #1
David Stephenson, “Rialto, Melbourne, Rialto Tower East,” 2009

Sometimes a photograph is just a photograph, and ain’t that a glorious thing. This show by photographer David Stephenson comes with almost no intellectual baggage. If there are any signs or signifiers in these photos they are really very, very, tiny. What we get instead are photos that do just what photographs do best, record in exquisite detail what happens to be in front of the camera at any given moment. Stephenson compounds the blatancy of his images by giving in to one of the most primal of human urges, the urge to climb up to the top of the tallest tree, building or nearby mountain, and then just look.

In this show we visit Melbourne, Tokyo, New York, San Francisco and Las Vegas, and in each we are given a spectacular prospect of buildings and lights, captured in the early evening when lights are on and the streets seemingly throb with electricity.

But what raises the specialness of these scenes to an extraordinary level, is Stephenson’s technical control. Starting with large format originals, taken with precise long exposures, and then impeccably prepared and printed, these photographs are completely invisible. The viewer is left standing on the observation tower to marvel at the wonder that is present-day Melbourne (as improbable as this may seem.)

 by unidentified photographer.
David Stephenson, “Tokyo Tower and Shiba Park,” 2010

The photograph as window is a bit of a tired and discredited metaphor today, but when the glass has been recently cleaned and the view is even better than in real life, one cannot help but let one’s jaw hang open, even if only for a few minutes.

David Stephenson
Light Cities


Julie Saul
535 W 22nd St. 6th Fl
Chelsea         Map

212 627 2410
saulgallery.com

Thursday, January 6 to
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Hours: Tue-Sat, 11 to 6
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The Genetic Wars by Barbara Confino
Making Caribbean Dance by Susanna Sloat
Central Booking Magazine
Soho Photo Gallery