Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Screening of Purple film at Queens Museum-1/11/15 at 3:30 PM

Adam Purple overlooking The Garden of Eden.  Photograph by Harvey Wang, 1982
Adam Purple and The Garden of Eden, the short film featuring my photographs and Amy Brost's interview with Adam Purple, will be screened at a special event sponsored by 596 Acres at the Queens Museum Panorama.

Taken from their website: 596 Acres will present all 155+ urban renewal plans that the City has ever adopted in an intervention directly on the museum's Panorama of the City of New York, realizing the online Urban Reviewer map on a 1:1200 scale of the 9,335 square foot Panorama.  

New York City began to adopt “urban renewal plans” in 1949 to get federal funding to acquire land, relocate the people living there, demolish the structures and make way for new public and private development. The legacy of these neighborhood master plans remains active across the city, from sites like Lincoln Center to the many vacant lots cleared in East New York and Bushwick for projects that were never completed. Even after federal funding for the program was cut in 1974, New York City continued to adopt renewal plans for neighborhoods - 82 plan areas, where the city has eminent domain power to take private property for the public purpose of eliminating blight and economic “under-performance,” came into being between 1975 and the present. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

MOCA Art Party-Tucson-12/19/14-6-9 PM

Brink Creative Digital is sponsoring an ART PARTY to benefit the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Tucson, Arizona.  The party is at Brink's fabulous offices (1100 S. 6th Ave, Tucson) and features a curated group of artists who are selling their work, with 50% of every piece sold going to MOCA.  In addition to myself, artists include: Henny Garfunkel, Isaiah Toothtaker, Pat Foley, Jeff Smith, Ojal Streeling, Clif Taylor, Jeffrey Jonczyk, Michael Berman, AKERS GNP, Albert Chamillard and George Strasburger.
Klaus Nomi performing at Hurrah's, NYC, 1980 by Harvey Wang

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

To The Printer!

From Darkroom to Daylight was sent to the printer in China this week.  It will be published by Daylight Books in Spring 2015.  The book is a beautiful and important document of what has happened in photography over the past few years told in eloquent stories and images.

Alan Trachtenberg, author of Reading American Photographs: Images as History, Mathew Brady to Walker Evans and other writings, and professor of English and American Studies, Yale University contributed this quote for the back cover:

 “What all photographs have in common is the essential role of light and light-sensitive materials in the production of an image, but there are many routes toward that end. This collection of interviews and personal narratives, accompanied by Harvey Wang’s splendid portraits, offers a revelation and hence an invaluable record of key issues in how and why photographers today choose to go one way or the other, toward film or digital methods, toward darkroom or daylight.”

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Adam Purple book at Phoenix Art Museum

The Garden of Eden, 1979 by Harvey Wang

Adam Purple  and The Garden of Eden, 1982 by Harvey Wang
Adam Purple & The Garden of Eden by Amy Brost with photographs by Harvey Wang is included in an exhibition of self-published photobooks in the Doris and John Norton Gallery for the Center for Creative Photography at the Phoenix Art Museum in Arizona.  INFOCUS, the Photography Support Organization of Phoenix Art Museum, invited photographers to send examples of their self-published photo books. The exhibition explores the range of ways artists are using newly available commercial technologies in order to make books. The jury chose 151 books from 15 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia to be displayed. See more about the exhibition at

The book is about Adam Purple, who in 1975 set out to plant a garden behind his tenement building at 184 Forsyth Street, at a time when the Lower East Side was a crime-ridden wasteland. It was a massive undertaking. While clearing nearly 5,000 cubic feet of debris using only simple tools and raw muscle power, Adam began to create his own topsoil from materials he found at the site and around the city. By 1986, his world famous eARThWORK had grown to 15,000 square feet. Adam 'zenvisioned' the Garden expanding until it replaced the skyscrapers of New York. For Adam Purple--social activist, philosopher, and urban
gardener/ revolutionary—the Garden was the medium of his political and artistic expression. When the Garden was slated for demolition to make way for a housing project, many prominent New Yorkers wrote letters and made statements of support for Adam and the Garden. Nevertheless, The Garden of Eden was razed on January 8, 1986, and the new housing project did not include an apartment for Adam or space for a new garden. In terms of his revolutionary ideas about sustainability and living as humble members of the natural world, Adam was ahead of his time. He has not yet been properly recognized as an important environmental artist.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

A Painter and His Poets: The Art of George Schneeman

My 1978 photograph of George Schneeman painting Allen Ginsberg is featured at this exhibition at Poet's House (April 22-Sept 20, 2014) which is the first major retrospective of George Schneeman's collaborative works with prominent poets of the second-generation New York School, among them Ted Berrigan, Anne Waldman, Larry Fagin, Maureen Owen, and Michael Brownstein.

Allen Ginsberg sitting for George Schneeman in 1978.  Photograph by Harvey Wang

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


VISIONS OF MARY FRANK, a film by John Cohen premiered at New York's Film Forum on April 16.  It runs until April 22.  The film was shot by John and myself, and edited by Edmund Carson.  In the film, John Cohen – filmmaker, photographer, musician, ethnographer – visits with his friend Mary Frank in her Chelsea studio and at her Woodstock home, talking about her life and art. Married young (originally to Robert Frank and, since 1997, to musicologist Leo Treitler), and pregnant at 17, she’s brutally honest about often having put her art before all else, about the early influence of dance upon her brushstrokes, and about being (in Cohen’s words) “hot in a cool world.” Her paintings, her political activism, and her past (the film includes wonderful footage of her with Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac) tell the story of a deeply-felt, well-lived life.

John Cohen by Harvey Wang

Mary Frank by Harvey Wang

John Cohen shooting Mary Frank in her studio by Harvey Wang

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

John Cyr's Developer Trays

John Cyr's terrific book "Developer Trays" was recently published by Powerhouse Books.  I am pleased that John included my very unique "canoe" tray in his book. 

From the publisher:
Developer Trays is master photography printer John Cyr’s tribute to the craft and art he has spent his career perfecting. As sure as the age of silver has come to an end, there remain few but extraordinary and dedicated darkroom practitioners such as Cyr who continue to work with chemistry and processes more or less unchanged since the early days of the medium.

With an unrivaled passion for the darkroom and all its accouterments Cyr set out to document the actual developer trays of many of the world’s most renowned photographers. Cyr celebrates in stunning large-format color photographs the intimate materiality of the developer tray itself and the ephemeral presence of the artist within it. This revelatory work showcases the ubiquitous developer tray as an essential vehicle of analog photography that defies modern digital photographic advances: its material nature and functionality will not become obsolete.

Trays from many of the giants of photography, including: Ansel Adams, Eddie Adams, Wynn Bullock, Bill Burke, Bruce Davidson, Elliott Erwitt, Emmet Gowin, David Graham, Sid Kaplan, O. Winston Link, Sally Mann, Eugene Richards, Stuart Rome, Mark Seliger, Neil Selkirk, Aaron Siskind, Jerry Uelsmann, Minor White, and Joel-Peter Witkin.

John Cyr "Harvey Wang's Developer Tray"

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Sunset Park Chinatown

Photographs from a recent City Journal assignment about the burgeoning Chinatown in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

Friday, February 21, 2014

FROM DARKROOM TO DAYLIGHT at The Center for Creative Photography

I screened an unfinished version of my feature "From Darkroom to Daylight" at The Center for Creative Photograph in Tuscon at their special "Next Conversation" event for an audience of photographers, museum curators, artists, publishers, collectors and gallery owners.  The reaction was wonderful, and a lively hour-long Q&A followed the screening.

Adam Bartos by Harvey Wang
David Goldblatt by Harvey Wang

Howard Hopwood, Ilford by Harvey Wang

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Artist Lecture and Sneak Preview - March 12, 2013

I will be doing an artist lecture at the Center for Alternative Processes  discussing and sharing segments from my current film project, From Darkroom to Daylight, about the transition in photography from chemical to digital processes.   For the film, I’ve had conversations with over 40 photographers and others, including Sally Mann, David Goldblatt, George Tice, Elliot Erwitt, Eugene Richards, Taryn Simon, Jerome Liebling, Susan Meiseles, Platon and Alex Webb. I’ve visited the Ilford factory in England to talk to their chairman about film production, and I’ve interviewed Steven Sasson, who invented the digital camera while at Kodak, as well as Thomas Knoll who created Photoshop.

Date: March 12, 2013
Price: Free and open to the public –  RSVP:
Location: 36 East 30th Street
Time: 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Lecture offered through CAP/ICP Partnership

Sally Mann

George Tice

Sunday, September 9, 2012

"Come Closer" at New Museum

The exhibition features original artwork, ephemera, and performance documentation by artists who lived and worked on or near the Bowery in New York. During these two decades, the Bowery was commonly identified with the furthest extremes of metropolitan decline—municipal neglect, homelessness, and substance abuse. As landlords and civil services abandoned the neighborhood, the subsequent cheap rents and permissive atmosphere drew artists downtown. The Bowery’s lofts provided a social network where painters, photographers, performance artists, musicians, and filmmakers exchanged ideas and drew inspiration from this concentration of creative activity.  

In those years, I was living in a loft in Chinatown with five other artists.  I began documenting Adam Purple's remarkable Earthwork in 1977, and was there in 1985 when the city began destroying it to build low income housing.  Adam started the garden in 1975 on the crime-ridden Lower East Side.  By 1986, The Garden of Eden was world famous and had grown to 15,000 square feet, spanning five lots.  For Adam - a social activist, philosopher, artist and revolutionary - The Garden of Eden was the medium of his political and artistic expression.

This exhibition also includes works by Barbara Ess, Coleen Fitzgibbon, Keith Haring, John Holmstrom, Marc H. Miller, Adrian Piper, Adam Purple, Dee Dee Ramone, Joey Ramone, Marcia Resnick, Christy Rupp, Arleen Schloss, Eve Sonneman, Billy Sullivan, and Martin Wong.  It was curated by Ethan Swan.

The film Amy Brost and I made about Adam has been seen in film festivals all over the US, and won The Neighborhood Award at the first Lower East Side Film Festival.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

"Life, Nature and Hope in Africa"

"Life, Nature and Hope in Africa"
Louisa Gould Gallery
54 Main Street
Vineyard Haven, MA Martha's Vineyard Island July 19 - August 1

Five of my photographs are included in this exhibition on Martha's Vineyard.  Other photographers include Carlo Mari, Guillaume Bonn, and Beth O'Donnell.  Proceeds benefit the “Nets for Life” campaign, a global partnership which provides education on malaria prevention and distributes treated mosquito nets to seventeen countries in Africa.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Lunch Hour exhibit at NYPL

Chef at Delhi Heights, 37-66 74th Street, Jackson Heights, NY
Samosas on 74th Street, Jackson Heights
My photographs from Jackson Heights, Queens are part of  the exhibit Lunch Hour NYC which  runs from June 22, 2012-January 13, 2013 in the Gottesman Exhibition Hall of the New York Pubic Library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building (on 5th Ave and 42nd Street).  Lunch Hour brings together materials from NYPL’s collections to tell stories of street foods, lunch counters, the Automat, lunch in the home, school lunch, power lunch and more. 

The conclusion of the exhibition will be devoted to contemporary photographs of people in New York at lunchtime.  I was one of twelve photographers asked to spend two hours shooting lunch hour in one neighborhood.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Brooklyn Youth Orchestra


A short film I made about the Brooklyn Youth Orchestra was shown for the first time at the Brooklyn Youth Music Project's 1st birthday celebration in Brooklyn Heights.  The Brooklyn Youth Music Project is a nonprofit organization that serves young musicians age 5 to 18 from all over Brooklyn. Their mission is to provide young musicians with a high standard of training and performance, in ensembles large and small. They provide opportunities for students to perform a wide variety of music, including classical,  contemporary and jazz.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Keith Haring at Brooklyn Museum

Seven of my photographs from the early 1980s are included in the Brooklyn Museum exhibition of Keith Haring's work from 1978-1982.

Lady Wrestling Night, Club 57, 1980
Barbie & The Heftones

Tseng Kwong Chi, Elvis Night at Club 57, 1980
Keith Haring & Tseng Kwong Chi at Club 57, 1980

Entrance to Club 57, St. Marks Place, NY, 1980
Klaus Nomi at Hurrah's, 1980

Thursday, March 15, 2012

New York Places-Jewish Spaces: Life in the City, 1700-2012

Photographs I made of Jewish neighborhoods and Jewish structures along Ocean Parkway--from Kensington to Brighton Beach in Brooklyn are part of the exhibition New York Places, Jewish Spaces: Life in the City, 1700-2012 at the Center for Jewish History (15 West 16th St. NYC.) The exhibit runs until August, 2012.

Brighton Beach
Washington Cemetery
Congregation Shaare Zion-2024 Ocean Parkway
Ocean Parkway Jewish Center-550 Ocean Parkway
Caretaker, Kavkazi Jewish Center-347 Ocean Parkway

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


I traveled to Ghana for Episcopal Relief & Development, to photograph and film the many programs they support in the northern regions of the country.  I visited remote villages, accompanying community volunteers as they distributed malaria nets, a trade school that teaches women to sew, and micro-finance cooperatives that support women to make goods for sale in the markets.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Alfred Gescheidt-1926-2012

Photograph by Harvey Wang

Alfred Gescheidt died this past Sunday, peacefully in his apartment on Lexington Ave. I had the honor of interviewing Alfred last year for my documentary film about transition in photography from a chemical process to a digital one. Alfred began his career as documentary photographer in New York in the late 1940s. He was most known as a photo satirist and photographic montage artist, creating images that were outrageous, experimental, funny and erotic. His work seemed photoshopped, long before Photoshop was invented.

His erotic photomontages were exhibited at Higher Pictures in 2009.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Flophouse: Life on the Bowery (Random House, 2000) is featured in a recent post on Joe Bonomo's blog No Such Thing as Was.   Joe is an author, essayist, cultural historian and professor in the Department of English at Northern Illinois University.

"While reading East of Bowery I was put in mind of Flophouse: Life on the Bowery, published in 2000, a terrific collection of Harvey Wang's photos of soon-to-be-gone Bowery transient hotels, David Isay's and Stacy Abramson's historical commentary, and edited monologues of folks barely if stubbornly hanging on in those residences. After Joseph Mitchell's New Yorker essays and James Agee's and Walker Evans's Let Us Now Praise Famous Men—and predating the boomlet of blogs such as Jeremiah's Vanishing New York, EV Grieve, It's All The Streets You Crossed Not So Long Ago, and many others—Flophouse documents the city in vivid and precise nonfiction, telling true stories as those stories leaned and dissolved in dire times. I've long been fascinated by the Bowery and its place in popular culture, careful to leaven what could become dangerous and irresponsible nostalgic romance with the painful reality of the street's history and its untold broken denizens."