ALL ARE WELCOME?

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Times Square – New York City

Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
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© David Katzenstein
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¡Viva México!

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Tepoztlán, Mexico

For all the World Cup fans in North America, we are rooting for our southern neighbor México to continue its impressive run as it enters the next rounds. By cheering for this team we can also show our humanity and support during these difficult times.

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© David Katzenstein

WELCOME TO AMERICA!

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Old Orchard Beach, Maine 2017

Last summer while working on a project about Old Orchard Beach in Maine I came across this wonderful family, recent immigrants from Somalia, Africa. When I spotted them amongst the bathers I asked the father if I could take a family portrait. They were recent arrivals to the United States, probably through the process of political asylum. They stood out on the crowded beach, and it made me proud to live in a country where immigrants are welcome.
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© David Katzenstein

THE WELLING COURT MURAL PROJECT

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Long Island City, Queens

Public arts access and education lie at the cornerstone of The Welling Court Mural Project. Bordering the Ferry Landing and the Ravenswood Houses in Astoria, New York, the Mural Project sprawls through the neighborhood and epitomizes the ethos of collaboration, galvanizing residents, business owners, and community members in a universally recognized cultural movement. Future documentation of the changing murals and urban landscape coupled with artist profiles and scholarly analysis will work to increase awareness and firmly cement this enclave’s status as an important cultural destination.
In October 2017, David Katzenstein and Gay Feldman began an ongoing collaboration with the project director and founder. Our efforts will help realize the production of commercially viable products and catalog, providing a limited income stream that will support the ongoing mural project.
Click here to view and read more about The Welling Court Mural Project
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© David Katzenstein

DISTANT JOURNEYS: Cracks in the Wall

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Western Wall, Jerusalem, Israel – 11:07:13 AM 
The custom of placing written prayers and wishes at the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem began about 300 years ago, and over a million notes are placed each year. For this series, Katzenstein zoomed in on the cracks between the stones where pilgrims to the sacred site deposit their folded pieces of paper. The images are displayed not in a linear form, but in a timeline form (created between 10:43-11:08 on the morning of November 30, 2017). It is not only a tactile study of stone and paper but also one of changing light as the sun began to cast directly on the wall in the later images. It is also important to note that The Dome of The Rock, an Islamic shrine located on the Temple Mount, sits on the plateau directly above the Western Wall.

To see the entire Cracks in the Wall series click here

© David Katzenstein

DISTANT JOURNEYS: Brownie Work

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Uros Islands, Lake Titicaca – Peru  1984

In the 1980s I began experimenting with an old Kodak Brownie camera that I picked up at a flea market. I was drawn to the cameras limitations – fixed focus and only one aperture setting – as a way to expand composition; foreground versus background, in focus versus out of focus, while at the same time concentrating on the boldness of color in the real world that surrounded me. I began experimenting in New York City but soon traveled to far off exotic locals to expand my palette.

To view more of Brownie click here

© David Katzenstein

Think About It

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On the one year anniversary let’s remember who we really are as a country!

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

        – Abraham Lincoln 

To see my series on Politics & Protest click here

© David Katzenstein

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

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During these unsettling times, it is important to remember and celebrate the importance of
Dr. King, both the man and his message.

The National Civil Rights Museum is housed at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. On the fateful evening of April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated by James Earl Ray while he relaxed with friends on the balcony outside of room 306. For this series of photographs I was interested in exploring the visitor’s experience outside the museum when they first arrived, and the power of the historical visual elements that greeted them before they entered the building.

View the entire series Outside the Lorraine Motel

© David Katzenstein

50/50: Venezuela

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With Venezuela being the 50th country posted I am happy to announce that I have reached the end of my 50/50 project, sharing 50 images from 50 countries (with 50 stories). I will soon make the entire collection available in its entirety.

While on assignment in Venezuela in 2005 I traveled all night by van from Caracas due west to visit the country’s second city, Maracaibo. We arrived after sunrise exhausted and dripping from the humidity and heat, and immediately proceeded to explore this sprawling metropolis that was a respite from the gridlock and constant safety issues of Caracas. President Hugo Chavez was in office, and there were already signs of a county on the verge of collapse. This image selected here of a group of teenagers cruising in a late model US automobile, passing by political posters bathed in late afternoon sunlight tells part of the story of this rattled country.

Read more about the 50/50 project here

50/50: Argentina, Austria, Bhutan, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, England, France, Germany, Guatemala, Haiti, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Oman, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Russia, Senegal, Singapore, South Africa, Turkey, Ukraine, Vanuatu, Venezuela

GOING DOWN: Private Moments in a Public Space

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I created a series of private moments of people in a public environment, on a very busy set of escalators in a New York City mall. From a particular heightened vantage point I was able to localize individuals or groups of people as they made their descent, creating what seems like ‘film stills’ – reflective moments captured in time and space. Each image has a story behind it for the viewer to fill in the blanks. These photographs are part of a larger ongoing project entitled The Urban Landscape.

View the entire GOING DOWN series

© David Katzenstein