TEXT: FLORIAN NARDON for BE STREET (Print Edition) How many times have I heard that being a photographer is a pretty simple task. You don’t have to create anything, they say, the object is already there. Even more so since the invention of the Internet and blogs, facilitating all kinds of information streaming. Today, anybody can be a photographer. Ever used a disposable camera and took some pictures on a white background, thinking if Terry Richardson can do it, so can I? Or maybe you bought an expensive camera and went to the skate park to shoot some upcoming skaters. Or perhaps you treated yourself to a professional lens and are now frantically shooting at every party in town, thinking you’re witnessing valuable junk culture moments. Fools you are. Never do you evoke the concept or the idea behind a picture, all you care about is who got there first. You brag about how you could have done a better job and that might even be true. Problem is, you haven’t.
TEXT: FLORIAN NARDON for BE STREET (Print Edition) This article is dedicated to another kind of breed. To those unpretentious enough to actually care about the concept of sharing a photo, those who educate our eyes by encouraging us to step forward and look closer, differently. With James and Karla Murray, we get to explore a raw view of the world. Dirty, urban and not seldom with low lighting but always full of life. Both are professional photographers, who have been living in New York City for over twenty years. They are mostly famous for their much-appreciated support of two cities, Miami and New York, for which they delivered almost documentary-like pictures. Far away from making bland snapshots of two cities, they capture moments of urban history. The first breakthrough came with their book “Broken Windows”, which focuses on NY graffiti and urban life scenes on the streets (a long gone style replaced by more abstract stuff). After that, they left New York for Miami and performed a thorough research on street art, resulting in a second book, named “Miami Graffiti”. A later release was the sequel of their first art book called “Burning New York”, however their absolute bestseller was and still is “Store Front”, focusing on the multicultural identity of the Big Apple through street signs and storefronts.
TEXT: FLORIAN NARDON for BE STREET (Print Edition) The book features a collection of local shops on the decline, attempting to survive in today’s time. And therein lies the importance of James and Karla’s work, sharing an archive and the memories of both cities’ history. James and Karla are when art becomes a social engagement or the ancient utopia of an urban melting-pot through popular typographies and imagery evoking Ireland, England, Mexico, France, Senegal, China and more… The couple spent no less than ten years taking pictures of the many small, colorful and independent family businesses, sending us a warning that for those places time is running up, like stolen souls of a city.
Need I say more. Just look at the awe-inspiring pictures surrounding the article. James and Karla shoot old stones, dead fabrics, dust, old painting, and sweat. All the things, which once had a life and are now slowly letting go. Objects and places so beautiful and deserving of one last glance, before they’ll forever be gone.
MORE INFO: http://WWW.JAMESANDKARLAMURRAY.COM