Central Park itself is, of course, varied. Go to the south end, bordered by midtown Manhattan skyscrapers, and people climb rocks, take pictures and picnic. Head north, and you’ll encounter groups sunbathing in Sheep Meadow—South Beach in the middle of Manhattan. Travel much farther north to The Ravine where the crowds thin as the landscape grows wilder. Here, people aren’t always in plain sight. They’re discovered behind trees or perched from rocks—reading, embracing—there for privacy rather than publicity.
From the start, I was fascinated by the juxtapositions in scale between us, the buildings and the land. I used the camera’s innate ability to compress space to show our often unconscious encounters with what surrounds us. While Central Park has been the subject of important bodies of work, my goal was to present it from a fresh perspective—not as a backdrop for human interaction, but as the stage from which the trees and rocks stand witness to our sometimes easy, sometimes awkward interactions with and within nature. I wanted to show the Park as it is casually experienced in the everyday—distilled moments made possible by the camera— that present a 21st century urban population, more comfortable with concrete than grass, engaging with a formal public space designed in the 19th century, and the resulting complexity and tension that arises from this juxtaposition.