We stood in front of the Michael Eastman photographs in quiet contemplation and awe. Soon it was clear why Michael Eastman achieved the kind of recognition among art connoisseurs and art enthusiasts alike. Carole Hochman, Director at Barry Friedman Ltd., spoke to us about Michael Eastman’s latest series of work titled “Urban Luminosity.” Taking the familiar elements of daily urban living and focusing our attention on the very building blocks of which they are comprised is a cornerstone of Michael Eastman’s oeuvre. It is evident yet again in this collection of works as they document contemporary architecture in modern cities, capturing still moments of a fast-paced environment.
One of the works is an iridescent image of the atrium at the Shanghai Hyatt hotel, and it presents a dramatic view that cleverly combines the reflective qualities of light and the dynamics of motion. “[Michael Eastman’s photographs] are like portraits of people, without the people in them.” This quote by Carole Hochman led us to an interesting hypothesis, which pointed us towards why we think he focuses on architecture. It is almost as if through architecture, Eastman is exploring the basic elements of time, motion and materials. He works his way between the facade of the structure and its interiors, allowing the viewer to piece in the rest of the story that might have played out just a few moments earlier.
Another interesting project Michael Eastman is known for is his “Vanishing America” series that serves as a momentary capture of the disappearing American architecture from the 1940’s, ’50’s and 60’s. During the 3-year period in which he worked on the project, Eastman captured images of buildings from the 20th century in a state of semi-ruin, clearly under the threat of demolition. It is fair to say that his snapshots of time manage to convey the precise mood of each of his locations.
Interview transcript on page 2