New York alone among the world's great historic cities was created not from the ambitions and designs of kings, emperors, dictators, oligarchs, or priests, but out of the hopes and dreams of poor and exiled people...for better and for worse. I've lived here now for 30 years as of August, longer than any other place I've lived including Dallas, the place I was born and grew up. And it still feels like I just got here.
The artists I think who best captured the look and feel of the city, its infinite variety and paradoxes, its sublime grandeur and its cozy intimacies, its cruelty and its generosity, its haunting mystery and its stark clarity, and above all its abounding irrepressible life are photographers. There is little in the way of great painting about New York, unlike 19th and early 20th century Paris. There is no New York equivalent of Manet or Degas or Monet or Pissarro among painters. But there are legions of great photographers who either came out of New York or did great work in the city.
Below are some greats who are also favorites of mine in no particular order.