Bill Hayes: How New York Breaks Your Heart
February 15th – March 17th, 2018
Opening Reception: Thursday February 15th, 2018, 6-8 p.m.
Steven Kasher Gallery presents the first ever exhibition of photography by Bill Hayes. A love letter to New York City, the exhibition How New York Breaks Your Heart features 24 black-and-white and color photographs. Hayes photographs ordinary New Yorkers at their most expressive and at their most fleeting, bringing the texture of the city to life. The exhibition launches the publication of a book of the same name, published by Bloomsbury, which features 150 photographs from the series woven through with Hayes’s lyric reflections.
Hayes cites Garry Winogrand, Peter Hujar and Diane Arbus as his artistic influences. Much like Arbus, Hayes photographs people on the streets of New York at close range with a straight on composition. But as the San Francisco Chronicle pointed out, “[Hayes’s] photos are reminiscent of Diane Arbus’ street portraits, the difference being that Arbus was drawn to the strangeness in people while Hayes is drawn to their warmth and beauty.” Former United States Poet Laureate Billy Collins says, “It’s in these ocular embraces that we feel the humanity and the beautiful eccentricity of individuals being revealed. Hayes gives us glimpses into the souls of the city’s characters in these arresting on-the-spot portraits.”
Street photography purists seek invisibility and don’t engage with their subjects beforehand. On the contrary, Hayes always ask his subjects if he can take their picture, creating a momentary intimacy. “I want to create portraits, but taken on the spot, on the fly, with no set-up or props, and only using natural light.”
Bill Hayes is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in nonfiction and the author of four books, Sleep Demons (2001), Five Quarts (2005), The Anatomist (2009) and the critically acclaimed memoir Insomniac City: New York, Oliver Sacks, and Me (2017).
Bill Hayes: How New York Breaks Your Heart will be on view February 15th-March 17th, 2018. Opening Reception: February 15, 6-8 PM.
Steven Kasher Gallery is located at 515 W. 26th St., New York, NY 10001. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 AM to 6 PM. For inquiries, please contact Cassandra Johnson, 212-966-3978, [email protected]