An oldie, but goodie.
An oldie, but goodie.
The tragedy of this day will forever be etched in my memory. I bore witness to the jumpers. I was a two blocks away when the towers began to fall. I ran and ran and didn’t stop until I got to Columbus Park in Chinatown. Though I had my cameras with me, I never made a photograph. I wanted to help, but was turned away by the police and other emergency crews.
Forward years later, finding myself working downtown close to the site of the original towers, I finally began to photograph. I hope making imagery for my lack of that day.
I’ve wanted to make this series into a book and have an exhibit of the work. Though the series did get published in many magazines, this desire has yet to be met. I have been turned down numerous times over the years.
The whole series can be seen here – https://pbase.com/keithbg/looking_on&page=all
A video on Time Magazine website can be seen here – https://time.com/3329648/photography-world-trade-center-tourists-keith-goldstein/
A number of years ago, during a stint of unemployment, I was assisting a friend, a still-life photographer out in his Brooklyn studio. One day, after a day’s shoot, we went into Manhattan to drop off the film and while we waited for it to be processed by the lab, we had dinner and drinks. For reasons that escape me, we had a lot of drinks. We drank well into the early morning. On our walk up the Bowery at about 3AM, both of us heading home, we crossed Bleecker Street. I looked up ahead and under the glowing light of a street lamp, I immediately recognized the shock of white-gray hair walking towards us. “What to do?”, I thought. There he was. A 36 roll pack of toilet paper on his shoulder and his other hand was clutching a plastic bag. As we got closer, I wanted to acknowledge his presence. I nodded slightly. So slightly he didn’t acknowledge it back. I wanted to say something and also take a photograph. I fumbled. I was too inebriated.
As we passed, I turned and saw that he turned around the corner towards where I knew he lived.
I said to my friend, “Do you know who that guy was we just passed?”
He said, “The guy with all the toilet paper?”
I said “Yes.”
I said, “That was Robert Frank.”
My friend stopped dead, “No??!!!”.
I said, “Yup. God does crap. Apparently a lot.”
Mr. Frank’s visually raw and personally expressive style made him one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century.