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In the East Village, an Upper West Sider’s Vision of ‘Williamsburg: Old and New’

Old and New, 2013. Paul Kessel. Photo: Courtesy of Umbrella Arts

Old and New, 2013, Paul Kessel. Photo: Courtesy of Umbrella Arts

It isn’t often that one decides to change career paths at the age of 69, but that’s precisely what Paul Kessel did. In his previous life, Kessel was a psychologist and psychoanalyst but these days he roams the streets armed with his camera, capturing street scenes that catch his eye.
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Alex Prager Used 20 Tons of Sand (and Her Sister) to Stage This Beach Scene

ALEX PRAGER Crowd #3 (Pelican Beach), 2013 archival pigment print 59.5 x 92 inches, 151.1 x 233.7 cm 60.5 x 93.56 x 2.25 inches (framed), 153.7 x 237.6 x 5.7 cm Edition of 6 Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong

ALEX PRAGER Crowd #3 (Pelican Beach), 2013 archival pigment print 59.5 x 92 inches, 151.1 x 233.7 cm 60.5 x 93.56 x 2.25 inches (framed), 153.7 x 237.6 x 5.7 cm Edition of 6 Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong

Alex Prager is not especially intimidating. The Los Angeles-based photographer is often smiling, rather petite and generally endearing. So it’s amusing to envision her atop a cherry picker, directing hundreds of actors like some sort of omniscient being, which is precisely what she did for her latest body of work, Face in the Crowd. Shot over four days on a sound stage in LA, the project features a slew of universally relatable locations (bleachers at a sports game, the beach, an airport, a generic looking rec room) populated with Prager’s friends, family and countless extras styled in flamboyant wigs and exaggerated makeup.
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Read Jill Freedman’s Epic Rant About Photography and the ‘Mechanized Mindlessness’ of Today’s NYC

We only crop square and we ONLY use the Earlybird filter. (Left to right: Dunn, Freedman and Patterson)

We only crop square and we ONLY use the Earlybird filter. (Left to right: Dunn, Freedman and Patterson)

It’s tough to out-talk Clayton Patterson, the Bloomberg-bashing photographer with the Santa beard who’s basically the Mayor of the LES. But Jill Freedman managed to do just that following a screening of Everybody Street last night at the Apple Store. The acclaimed photographer, whose black-and-white shots of cops, firemen, and street denizens (many of them from the ’70s and ’80s) appear in Cheryl Dunn‘s excellent new documentary about NYC street shooters, joined Patterson and Dunn in a panel discussion, and immediately stole the show by bitching about the bright stage lighting: “Does Apple sell sunglasses?” she winced.
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In Search of an Unsung East Village Photographer, Tomas Leach 'Hunted an Old Man Down'

Saul Leiter, secret genius photographer of the East Village, turned 90 this year, yet his work is just now achieving widespread recognition — most recently in the form of In No Great Hurry, a documentary playing this week at the Doc NYC Festival.
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Sky’s the Limit For the Brothers Behind Apostrophe (Unless They Buy That Plane)

Ki and Sei Smith. (Courtesy of Apostrophe)

Ki and Sei Smith. (Courtesy of Apostrophe)

Apostrophe lies in a patch of Bushwick otherwise punctuated mostly by apartment buildings and bodegas. The precise definition of the space, which draws its name from the Frank Zappa album, varies with time of day. Tonight at 9 p.m. it’ll be a performance venue, as the bands Snow Wite, Nu Depth, and Fluct take the basement stage. On Thursday it’ll be an art gallery, as a recent exhibit of photos, “Villain People,” comes to a close. Usually it’s a living space and occasionally it’s a barber shop.
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‘Last Call on Ludlow’: A Photo Tribute to Max Fish, Closing Tonight

<strong>Ulli Rimkus</strong>

Ulli Rimkus

The owner of Max Fish. The person that made the iconic downtown art/skate gathering spot that is Max Fish possible. Thank you, Ulli.

<strong>Quindell Willis</strong>

Quindell Willis

Musician, photographer, and long-time bartender at Max Fish. Q to me is the epitome of effortlessly cool.

<strong>The bar</strong>

The bar

<strong>RB Umali</strong>

RB Umali

Talented film producer, skateboard filmmaker, and one of my closest friends. Whenever coming back to NYC from traveling, one of my first texts is to RB to meet up at Max Fish for pool.

<strong>Patrick Holmes</strong>

Patrick Holmes

Musician and Max Fish bartender. My favorite portrait in the series.



<strong>Paul Roura</strong>

Paul Roura

Also known as Paulgarr, Paul is a talented skateboard filmer and filmmaker along with being a fellow appreciator of all things Morrissey.

<strong>Marc Razo</strong>

Marc Razo

Along with brothers Andre and Tino, Marc is sort of synonymous with NYC skateboarding and downtown culture. A bartender at Max Fish and bassist for the band Endless Boogie. Everybody loves Marc -- it's as easy as that.

<strong>The pool table</strong>

The pool table

<strong>Justin Strubing</strong>

Justin Strubing

Aka "Smiles for Miles.” A long-time professional skateboarder, Justin is known as being undeniably one of the nicest people you can possibly meet. A few years ago, I also witnessed him win, like, a dozen straight pool games on the Max Fish pool table with a broken collarbone and one arm in a sling.

<strong>Joshua Wildman</strong>

Joshua Wildman

Who doesn't love Joshua Wildman? Talented photographer, always plays a great DJ set, and recently brought his dad to Max Fish when Mobb Deep performed . . . which I thought was pretty much the coolest thing ever.

<strong>A beer and a shot</strong>

A beer and a shot

<strong>Harry Druzd</strong>

Harry Druzd

Longtime Ludlow Street local and bartender at Max Fish. Drummer in the band Endless Boogie. Harry is the kind of guy who always asks how you're doing and how you've been.

<strong>Gabe Lockey</strong>

Gabe Lockey

A local at Max Fish and a guy I consider to be the quintessential free spirit. Recently traveled through Southeast Asia on a motorbike and came back with the best stories. Gabe is always guaranteed to play great vinyl while DJing.

<strong>The bathroom</strong>

The bathroom

<strong>Atiba Jefferson</strong>

Atiba Jefferson

One of my favorite photographers. If there's a great skate photo taken in the last several years, chances are Atiba was behind the lens. Also half of DJ duo The Blackouts, with twin brother Ako.

<strong>Ansku Heiskanen</strong>

Ansku Heiskanen

I actually don't know Ansku too well, but I loved this photo, and I think her style is emblematic of the type of people I enjoy meeting at the Fish.

<strong>The awning</strong>

The awning

<strong>Allan Windsor</strong>

Allan Windsor

Has been a bartender at Max Fish since the day it opened in 1989. My favorite source for epic stories of "The Old New York" and what the LES used to be like. He didn't really like me taking his photo for this, so I got nervous and accidentally double-exposed the film. It worked out to be one of my favorite shots of one of my favorite people.

<strong>Alex Corporan</strong>

Alex Corporan

Too much to sum up in a sentence. OG NYC skateboarding legend, friend of everyone, always has a smile. Collaborated with Ivory Serra and Andre Razo to put out the amazing book Full Bleed: New York City Skateboard Photography -- a must-have for anyone who wants to experience the history of skating in the city.

<strong>Ako Jefferson</strong>

Ako Jefferson

Helms The Skateboard Mag as Art Director, half of DJ duo The Blackouts, with twin brother Atiba.

<strong>The Fish</strong>

The Fish

Daniel Savage has been frequenting Max Fish for over a decade now. While the 31-year-old surfer and photographer doesn’t specifically remember the first time he set foot in the Lower East Side skater haven, he does recall the feeling: “I remember just being really wide-eyed about it all. I was new to NYC and it seemed like a place where people who were doing amazing things hung out. 178 Ludlow Street was where I wanted to be every night.”
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Richard Kern Says Fellow Nudie Photog Terry Richardson Was ‘Asking For It’

Screen Shot 2013-07-24 at 4.05.36 PMPhilip Glass isn’t the only East Village fixture with new work out. Novelist Porochista Khakpour, a onetime East Villager herself, sits down with Richard Kern, who still keeps an apartment in the nabe, to talk about his new book and Thurston Moore-soundtracked DVD, Shot By Kern. The conversation (interspersed with Kern’s NSFW photos) clears up the myth that “Alphabet City girls” come to his door at all hours asking to model naked, and touches on Kern’s current case of photographer’s block (“if it’s just pretty girls, I don’t even know what a shot is anymore”).
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