When Israeli-born artist Shai Kremer was granted permission to take photographs of the World Trade Center construction site, he had been working on a long-term project entitled “Notes From The Edges,” in which he shot remote places around New York’s five boroughs. Photographing at One World Trade Center site was “fulfilling a dream” for Kremer.
Using an 8-by-10 camera, he photographed the building process between 2011 and 2013. He then layered and manipulated the pictures digitally to make compositions that will be displayed at the Julie Saul Gallery in an exhibit called “World Trade Center: Concrete Abstract.” In addition, some works from the series will be displayed at venues around the city, including The Museum of the City of New York, The Brooklyn Academy of Art and The Bronx Museum.
The series contains 17 pieces, including two panoramas and one triptych. The layering process, which Kremer likens to painting, means that each composition contains 60 to 80 images on average.
“Each of my visits to the construction site was like a search for a specific color or shape that I needed to complete the piece sitting on my desktop — months of endless explorations, day after day added layers of intentional images,” remarked Kremer in an interview.
Kremer, who was born on Kibbutz Gaash near Tel Aviv and who splits his time between Israel and New York, came to New York to study photography and visual media at the School of Visual Arts. “All my work,” he said, “is infused with dealing with the aftermath of war and trauma.”
Shai Kremer’s “World Trade Center: Concrete Abstract” opens Sept. 4 and runs through Oct. 25 at the Julie Saul Gallery, 535 W. 22nd St., (212) 627-2410, saulgallery.com.