‘After 9/11, a friend and I were talking and came to the realization that the antidote to terror lay in the richness of everyday life that’s around us alw ays, within arm’s and heart’s reach,” said Hollywood photographer Robert Zuckerman, who is known for his advertising and publicity work.
In a search for that everyday “richness,” Zuckerman began his “Kindsight” series, a labor of love, in the beginning of 2002. The project, now on view at the 92nd Street Y, began when he was visiting Las Vegas and met an elderly, low-income couple. He took their photograph and wrote a paragraph about them, and combined image and text to make to make a single work of art. Zuckerman then emailed the finished piece to friends and colleagues and received positive responses.
Soon after he made another piece from another random encounter, and then another until such work became a regular undertaking. He stresses that his process is organic — if someone wishes not to be photographed he does not insist. The resulting photographs and accompanying stories have something in common with Brandon Stanton’s work on the popular United Nations website, “Humans of New York.”
“Literally, there seemed to be an infinite source of material in the vastness of everyday life,” Zuckerman told The Jewish Week. “I really knew I was onto something when I emailed around a big movie poster I’d photographed and someone responded, ‘Nice poster, but I like the stories better!’” remembered Zuckerman.
New Yorkers and Jews are the subjects of most of the works in the 92nd Streey Y exhibit. The photographs include ordinary people, such as a ticket agent at Penn Station, and celebrities, including the actress Debra Winger.
“Kindsight: The Photography of Robert Zuckerman” is on view at the 92nd Street Y through Oct. 20. 92y.org.