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."

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Photo Essay in UK's Life Force Photography Magazine

An early photo essay of mine about Madison County, North Carolina has been published in Life Force the acclaimed magazine of the photo-essay. The magazine's goal is to "show the work of the best photographers in the world." Life Force Magazine is designed to tell stories in pictures and to explore the unique power of the photo-essay. The only writing in the magazine is by the photographers themselves and is there to add context, color and understanding. The BBC's Culture Show have described Life Force Magazine as the Picture Post of the 21st Century'