Tod Papageorge: Dr. Blankman’s New York
“In Dr. Blankman´s New York, I hope you’ll find a persuasive account of what it meant for me to be free with a Leica in the streets of my then newly-adopted home of Manhattan, a record drawn in the saturated colors of Kodachrome film, where even the heavy shadows pouring into the backdrop-avenues of the pictures seem full of depth.
I’d never worked in color before, but, just 25 and starting out, I was soon convinced by photographer-friends that I could pay the rent by landing a bit of magazine work, and that a carousel-tray of color slides would be the best way of convincing editors to take a chance on me. Perhaps unsurprisingly, I responded to my friends’ suggestion by photographing the street in much the way I’d been doing in black-and-white, but also — and new for me — I began intuitively making still-life pictures of shop windows and signs, where fruit or Brillo boxes were as likely to turn up as subjects as a political poster pasted over with images of a weeping Vietnamese girl. Clearly not a formula for commercial success.
So, of course, I failed in reaching my immediate goal of making a living through photography, but the journey that the project forced on me — producing pictures in a fresh medium, and, just as crucially, at a time when thoughts of assassination, ‘The Summer of Love,’ and the war in Vietnam were as present as the weather — has resulted so many years later in a new thing, this book.” – Tod Papageorge