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

Vanishing Storefronts
James & Karla Murray
Store Front II
Ed Barnas
James & Karla Murray

James and Karla Murray have been photographing New York City storefronts for over a decade. Their interest in the subject was aroused when they were documenting graffiti artists in New York and Miami and noticed similarities in the typography of the street artists and the signage on local stores.

Their subjects are not the new and trendy, but rather the old “Mom and Pop” stores that are steadily disappearing from the five boroughs of NYC. These range from the famous (CBGB, Astroland, McSorley’s, Katz’ Deli) to neighborhood cafes, repair shops and dive bars (a few of the stores pictured still display merchandise on the sidewalk). Many of these establishments have been in business for generations but are now falling victim to the aging of their proprietors, or the increasing financial demands of their landlords.

The approach to photographing these stores is quite formal – most of the images are shot straight-on, rectilinear, looking almost like an architect’s rendering of the front elevation (only a very few, corner bars like Raymond’s and Mars Bar, are shot at an angle). The colors are lively and bright. The streets, however, are mostly empty, as if the grates had just been lifted and the owners had only then opened their doors. These are not photos of street life but of the environment of the street, more like the storefronts of Atget than the street photography of the 50’s and 60’s.

 by unidentified photographer.
James & Karla Murray

Store Front II is actually a sequel to the Murrays’ summer 2009 exhibit, Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York, also at the CLIC Gallery, which coincided with the publication of a book of photos paired with interviews with many of the proprietors. This exhibit coincides with the publication of a smaller format edition of the book (and a calendar). A series on the storefronts of Miami is currently in the works.

James & Karla Murray
Store Front II


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212 219 9308
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Tuesday, February 1 to
Sunday, March 27, 2011
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The Genetic Wars by Barbara Confino
Making Caribbean Dance by Susanna Sloat
Central Booking Magazine
Soho Photo Gallery