#859, Black on Grey

This untitled painting by Mark Rothko is currently on display at MoMA.

It's an unusual work for Rothko, being minimalist and monochrome in a way that he rarely is. I had never seen it before, but had no doubt who the artist was - even though it has a white border.

I love the radiance of this photo. It makes it look the way I feel.

Some of the modern artists don't do it for me - from opposite extremes, I've never been moved by a Pollock or Warhol. Cy Twombly and Jasper Johns impress me, On Kawara and Piet Mondrian fascinate me; the audacity and scale of Barnett Newman is an inspiration. There's plenty of art that makes me smile, or think, or stop and look. But nothing else makes me stand rapt the way Rothko's colour field paintings do.

#161, Zip

Detail from Vir Heroicus Sublimis.

MoMA has an entire room devoted to Barnett Newman, and while the presentation lacks the impact of the Voice of Fire that I saw in Ottawa's National Gallery, it is a very impressive collection.


#963, Window

Looking through my colour photos, there's remarkably little difference in 'the look' of digital images that I've processed to my satisfaction and those from an untweaked roll of Kodak's new Portra 400. I can't wait to get my hands on it - maybe I'll take it on my next trip instead of Ektar, but it also depends on which camera I bring to wherever it is that I go.

Decisions, decisions.

(and for what it's worth, this is a digital image.)

#837, Tear

I'm not one to wind on a couple of frames before I start taking photos 'for real' – not that it makes much difference.


#856, Subterranean Twenty-Third Street

I took the subway four times in New York, all on the last full day of our visit. Penny bought me a Mighty Wallet with the subway map on it, and it was tremendously helpful. If/when I do go back to NYC, being able to get around expands my options tremendously.

I don't usually mention my site tracker, but this evening I noticed it was at an even 37,000. Not bad for six years' work.

(`thewsreviews, on the other hand, is past 84,500 visitors in less than three years.)

#869, Metropolis

One of the truths of photography is that it's impossible to get the whole thing. So when I had the opportunity to capture the entire Metropolis, I couldn't just walk by.

I'm starting to think about where to go next spring, and given the way New York City dominates the East Coast bus routes, it's going to be difficult to not go back. But if and when I do return, one of the biggest challenges will be narrowing my scope down to some sort of workable project(s).

And next time, I'll do it in colour.


Reconstruction - Park Place

Park Place, between Church and West Broadway, location of the Park51 project.


Reconstruction - West Broadway

Approaching the northern edge of the World Trade Center site, 3 November 2010.


Reconstruction - Church St

The World Trade Center site, east side, 3 November 2010.


#264, Guggenheim

An image from the only area of the Guggenheim that allows photography.

The gallery spirals up along the wall of the main space, allowing a long circular walk to replace the meandering exploration of a traditional gallery.

Sort of like the difference between a parking lot and a parking garage.


solomon r guggenheim

Visiting the Guggenheim Museum wasn't that high on my list, but the logistics worked out well with some of my other plans. It's an impressive enough building, but the collection inside didn't really do it for me.


#882, Island By Boat

Manhattan really isn't very big - certainly not when it's seen edge-on.


#870, Exclusive

Not 'exclusive' as in 'nobody else sells it,' but exclusive in the sense of 'you're better than everyone who doesn't have one.'

I don't want one… but if I can think of a reason to get the upcoming tablet from RIM, I could be persuaded. I'm just not sure why the US will be getting it before Canada – that just seems wrong.



I happen to like abstract expressionism and colour field art, so the Museum of Modern Art is going to be a mandatory stop any time I'm in New York. Like most of the major art galleries I've visited in the US, they allow photographs of their permanent collections.

This means that I get to take photos, which I appreciate, but it also means that I'm surrounded by people with cameras, who annoy me. (That's a general thing, but it's worse in some places than others.) For what it's worth, I have my own 'straight' photos of the artwork for my own appreciation, photographed with a semi-decent camera and accompanied with colour references for accuracy. Otherwise, what would be the point? These photos that show the environment are just for fun.

The top image and painting on the right in the second image is Mark Rothko's No.37/No.19 (Slate Blue and Brown on Plum); the painting on the left in the second image is No.3/No.13.


#852, Flatiron

One of the very last things I photographed in NYC, the Flatiron building was something else that I was determined to see. While it's a remarkable building, and an early example of a steel-framed skyscraper, it was also the subject of a very important photograph by Alfred Stieglitz.

I haven't yet decided if my next day trip will be a return to New York, but if it is then this is one of the reasons why I'd be tempted to bring my big Fuji camera.


#831, Gotham

I had a list of things that I wanted to see in New York City, and the Port Authority Bus Terminal was very high up. Penny and I actually found it by accident almost as soon as we were in the city, but I came back to take photos a couple of days later.

This is where H&FJ found Gotham.

(It could be weeks before I'm able to present a cohesive body of work from my New York photos, so instead I'll just be putting up single images and small collections without regard to sequence or chronology.)


#582, Twenty-five hours

Taken just a little over a day after our wedding, this could be one of my favourites of the honeymoon. Penny's relaxing, chatting with family, tea in hand, wearing her brand-new wedding ring. It's just a nice quiet moment.

We flew out to New York about half an hour after this was taken.


#338, Penny's Ring

The wedding was awesome, and now we're back after a great honeymoon.

Photos from New York will commence in another day or two.

I have broken the links to hundreds and hundreds of photos, which will take a long time to repair. The workaround is to replace "photo.matthewpiers" in the link URL with "matthewpiers.smugmug". Awkward, but only temporary.

This is happening because I have revamped matthewpiers dot com. More of what I write and photograph will be going there, so check it out as well.

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