Artist Statement - About Jeff's Work
CITY LIGHTS, CITY DREAMS
Photographs by Jeff Spielman
I'm a native New Yorker – a proud resident of this great city. I was born in Brooklyn, as were my parents, and two of my four grandparents. Descended from Eastern European Jews who emigrated here seeking a better life for themselves and their children, I feel a deep connection to my city – to its history, its immigrant past and its continuing evolution in the present time. I consider myself fortunate to now live in Lower Manhattan’s Chinatown - a neighborhood where the ongoing cycle of immigration that enriches New York’s soul continues today just as it did 100 years ago when some of my ancestors (including my great-great-grandfather’s family) first settled on the very same street where I now live.
My mission as a photographer is to record the soul and spirit of New York City as I experience it. I strive to create photographs that reflect both the city’s past and present…and that draw the viewer into the scene as I share what I see with you. I find beauty and poetry in the streets and sidewalks, the building and bridges, the trees and landscapes of this ever-evolving metropolis.
My photographic hero is the French master, Eugene Atget, who created a highly personal photographic portrait of his beloved city of Paris in the first decades of the 20th Century. Just as he did with Paris in his time, I hope that my exploration of my own city will continue to evolve and grow for many years to come. I hope that my work allows me to share with you, the viewer, some of the aching and haunting beauty I see all around me in the city which I am privileged to call my home.