Oaxaca /Winter 2013
Tucked away, but still able to be found by the discerning eye. The experience of finding David Reinfeld’s modest show of just over a dozen photographs on the third floor of SOHO20 is almost a metaphor for his work itself: bursts of immense beauty and vivacity in a greater Metropolitan context. “Oaxaca / Winter 2013,” open until October 26, displays a complex grouping of layers, texture and juxtaposition that only a master street photographer such as Reinfeld could capture.
The photographs are an array of macro images of cracks in walls and crumbling facades mixed with wider shots of walls and entryways that simultaneously show great detail but leaves the spaces shown ambiguous. The bursts of color and liveliness contrast with the bleak surroundings and lack of human figures in the space.
“I think probably after 40 years of making pictures all my pictures, everything, whether of animate or inanimate objects, come together. So inanimate comes alive and sometimes animate goes dead,” Reinfeld described the work. “And they’re all about that.”
The urban still-lifes, composed with the delicacy and humor the likes of Freidlander, are not new to Reinfeld, though. “I have been photographing decay my whole life, wherever I can find it, different variations of it,” he said in an exclusive interview. “All pictures of urban decay look pretty much the same, but then different things stand out. Oaxaca’s about color. Finding color in New York is not so easy, so that’s the main difference.”
The humble show, with simple displays of the photographs so that they make speak for themselves, grants the viewer a unique experience: the chance to stop and appreciate beauty in the deteriorating surroundings of our urban lives.
Review by Justin McCallum
Photos by Tanya Kiseleva