Photograph by Miron Zownir from NYC RIP
Released in September, the book NYC RIP features 156 photographs by Miron Zownir of New York City in the gritty 1980s, focusing a large part on the sex workers along the West Side “Sex Piers” and former nudist area, gay parties before the AIDS crisis, the desperation along the Bowery, and subcultures that were once a fixture on city streets. Numerous NSFW images are published on Dazed Digital (h/t Vanishing NY) and show what is described as his “uncompromising” eye – images that will certainly make those only familiar with the more sanitized New York flinch. While the focus is on human subjects, the environment is key to the photographs which explains why Zownir has been compared to Weegee.
Yet, when asked about his artistic inspiration, Zownir prefers to use a line from Kafka’s “The Castle,” according to the book description: “If one has the strength to look at the things incessantly, more or less without ever closing the eyes, one sees much. But if one lessens the effort only once and closes the eyes, it all immediately vanishes into darkness.”
See more images from the book:
Next, check out more gritty photographs of the Meatpacking District in the 1990s.