Archive for July 1st, 2010

anyday

Thursday, July 1st, 2010


Corner 2 Corner – Anyday

To every clan that I ran with
Gave pounds and shook hands with
Every crew I made plans to get grands with
And brothers that I pulled jobs with
Planned heists and mob hits
Union Square heads I used to rob with

hipsters, hustlers, and handball players

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

The title of Leon Levinstein’s knockout exhibition of photographs at the Met, “Hipsters, Hustlers, and Handball Players,” doesn’t exactly exhaust his range of subjects. Staking out New York’s busiest public arenas—Times Square, Coney Island, Washington Square Park—Levinstein photographed hookers, housewives, businessmen, cross-dressers, and the permanently down-and-out with no trace of sentimentality but plenty of heart. From the early nineteen-fifties until a few years before his death, in 1988, he worked on the fly, and almost always without engaging his subjects. Maybe that’s why his pictures still feel so urgent and raw. Levinstein refined his Bauhaus-on-the-Bowery compositions, but he never blunted his hit-and-run attack. He wasn’t slumming or judging; a loner himself, he was communing with New York at its grittiest, clearly relishing the experience. The museum owns every print here, yet the work doesn’t cozy up to the Met. Hung in these posh galleries, it looks all the more brutal, brilliant, and uncompromising.

- Vince Aletti, The New Yorker