Portrait by Nate Dorr © 2006
New York City is the most populous city in the United States, with over 8 million residents. It also houses a surprising amount of forgotten, empty and abandoned spaces, ranging from half-demolished neighborhoods to airports, hospitals and schools to derelict factories, powerhouses and sugar refineries.
I have been exploring the abandoned and industrial edges of New York City since 2000. I began publishing photo essays from these explorations on this website in 2007, with a new photo essay every two weeks. In 2012, the website Curbed began publishing this ongoing series of photo essays as the column Camera Obscura. These photo essays capture unseen aspects of the urban landscape, penetrating beyond physical, psychological and bureaucratic boundaries to examine hidden worlds. The spaces I photograph are typically off-limits to the public, located behind fences and walls. They are often in New York City's most desolate and remote neighborhoods.
These spaces contain hidden beauty, unwritten histories, and artifacts that are overlooked by society. My work documents what has been left behind, and what will soon vanish from New York's constantly changing landscape. Many of the places I've visited have already been demolished or are slated for demolition. All that remains are the photographs.
My photo essays on abandoned NY places and the industrial waterfront are currently published at my column Camera Obscura on the website Curbed, and have been exhibited at the Museum of the City of New York, the Brooklyn Museum, the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, the Brooklyn Library, the Brooklyn Historical Society, and at galleries around New York City. They have been published in all of New York's major newspapers, including the New York Times, New York Magazine, New York Post, New York Daily News, New York Sun and the Village Voice. Selections from these photo essays are now in the permanent collection of the Museum of the City of New York, the Brooklyn Historical Society, and the Brooklyn Library.
For more information on my documentary films and installations about hidden urban spaces, please visit www.nathankensinger.com