New York Photo Review
NYPR Archives - 2010

Beat Streuli
NYC 91/09
Reviewer #1
Beat Streuli

Beat Streuli is a interesting photographer who has continued the grand traditions of street photography around the world. His niche is in that inestimal pleasure that every city dweller has of watching the changing panoply of faces – anonymous, young, old, of every shade possible, that pass by for an instant, on any busy street corner. Streuli has often worked in New York where the variety of subjects is probably as wide as it gets, and the show at Murray Guy Gallery presents work done early in his career and then last year.

There is a surprising similarity, although the early work was done in black and white (and on film of course) and the newer, done in color and presented as a digital projection, both feature the same figures lost in thought, navigating their way through the busy streets. Streuli seems to have had the European fascination with the diversity of the city, I counted 1 Asian, 1 Mexican, 6 African and only 2 European faces in the early work, and it seemed there might be a similar mix in the newer work too. There are a handful of urban abstracts from 91, and a whole lot of them from 09, and although the color ones are a bit more interesting, they both cover well worn territory – a bit like Lee Friedlander, but without the visual wit.

The new work is presented as a dual-projection digital slide show, with images projected for varying (or perhaps random) lengths of time. This arbitrary hand on the remote, as it were, undermines one of the intrinsic lures of the street photograph, the chance to stare at strangers for as long as you damn well please. But the installation, which is obviously designed for a public space, would be welcome in almost any airport waiting room. Here though, the gallery forgot to install a bench, so this weary reviewer never quite figured out how long the show went on.

Beat Streuli
NYC 91/09


Murray Guy
453 W 17th St. 2nd Fl
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Saturday, February 27 to
Saturday, April 10, 2010
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