New York Photo Review
NYPR Archives - 2010

Ruben Natal-San Miguel
NY, NY - The Concrete Jungle

In the back gallery of Kris Graves Projects is another exhibition called “Concrete Jungle” and there is little street photography here that you haven’t seen before. Natal-San Miguel spent five summers riding around upper Manhattan on his bicycle, stopping to photograph whatever seemed to illustrate his goal of showing how some people manage to make the most from very little. So, in the tradition of street shooters like Helen Levitt and Bruce Davidson, there are the almost obligatory images of four men on plastic chairs playing dominoes in front of a graffiti-scarred wall, the guy selling flowers from a shopping cart, boarded up doorways, street art including a tribute to Michael Jackson, etc., etc. The most compelling image and actually quite interesting is called “Glamour Break,” a rear view of a woman with a head full of hair curlers, holding a cigarette in one hand and cell phone in the other. One wishes there were more like this photo. Many of the titles chosen by the photographer are a minor annoyance and don’t add to the viewing experience. If you’re going to show photos that are mostly routine, at least spare the viewer titles such as “Playing by Heart,” (the domino players), “As Good As It Gets” for the flower vendor with shopping cart...well, you get the picture.

Ruben Natal-San Miguel
NY, NY - The Concrete Jungle

Kris Graves Projects
111 Front St. 2nd Fl
Dumbo Brooklyn         Map

212 796 7558

Thursday, March 4 to
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Hours: Tues-Fri 12 to 5; Sat 12 to 6