October 14, 2016

The Secret Lives of Buildings

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Marc Yankus loves the built environment of New York City—as I do,—and his new show, “The Secret Lives of Buildings,” is a paean to the strong silent occupiers of great space in the city. His large format photographic prints of iconic buildings like the Dorilton, Ansonia and Flatiron compel one to contemplate their essence, devoid of commerce, schmutz and motion. They are the silent stoic guardians of the city.

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With an omnipresent perspective (unseen from the street views of mere mortals) Marc also plays with the mundane, portraying some of the unremarkable architecture of Herald Square amidst the scumbled pastel light of overcast days. He considers other micro-neighborhoods, digitally mirroring and collaging edifices,brick textures, and other aging materials. He also isolates the jewel boxes of the city, like the former Parthenon of a bank, now abandoned, that still stands majestically on the corner of 14th and Eighth.

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The show—the inaugural exhibit at the freshly painted storefront Clampart Gallery near Madison Square Garden—is for both natives and other denizens of the city—Yankus’ photographs are puzzles to interrogate—we know these dreamlike characters subconsciously, and lingering in front of these portraits, we fill in their contexts and learn their identities.

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