City Depths

November 30, 2004 - January 30, 2005
City Depths

Photographs Documenting the New York City Subway

A Second Home by Henrik Krogius

For well over 50 years I have tried to be a wandering eye in the great city where I live, attempting to photograph people, streets and buildings with as little interference as if I were not there at all. Traveling the subway has been a considerable part of my city experience, and I have brought the same photographic approach to my "second home" underground, working quickly and unobtrusively to preserve moments of what it was like.

In the introduction to my book, New York, You're a Wonderful Town! (Arcade, 2003), I note that the photographs amount to bits of total recall that reveal more than I was conscious of seeing when I made them, and that they stand in contrast to the vagueness of my memories. When I see the results of what I was aiming for with my camera I am sometimes disappointed, but always to a degree surprised.

Born in Finland, Henrik Krogius came to New York in 1939 at the age of ten and has lived mainly in Brooklyn ever since. For 27 years he was a writer and producer for NBC News and Channel 4, breaking in as a writer with Gabe Pressman and for many years producing the 11 PM WNBC - TV news program. He also worked for the Huntley-Brinkley Report and later for Tom Brokaw.

Throughout his career, Krogius carried a 35-mm camera, recording the city and people around him during work breaks. His early interest in photography had been encouraged at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, which awarded him a Pulitzer Traveling Scholarship. His travels around the globe produced a prize-winning photograph - the prize was another trip around the world!

Under the Surface

by Stephen Schuster

If you're really in love with your city you seek out its darkest secrets and immerse yourself in its subtle moments. Under the Surface is about exploring these forbidden areas of underground track and stone that have intrigued me since I was old enough to ride the subway. The images are about danger and secrecy, about getting hundred-year-old dirt on you while hiding from the express train. The photographs expose what lurks under the surface.

People travel through these spaces every day but never have the chance to truly examine them. For years the tunnels were there for daring urbanites and graffiti writers to explore at their own risk. These photographs aim to capture a timeless New York City. The New York that we once knew is slowly facing away. Street graffiti is gone, commercial businesses are establishing more of a presence in the urban landscape and photographing in the transit system has now become illegal. The photographs document New York City's true underground. They will stand as evidence of the energy and mystery that the city once had.

Under the Surface started off as a photo essay documenting graffiti writers who wrote in subway tunnels. It turned into an investigation and documentation of New York's purest spaces. This project freezes time and captures what lurks under the surface.

A New York native, Stephen Schuster currently lives in Brooklyn and is launching a career as a professional photographer and artist. Stephen is in his early twenties and tries to find time to make art and be inspired while working a couple part-time jobs.


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