New York, NY – November 8, 2007 – For thousands of New Yorkers, the Hudson River is merely a blur as the Metro North railroad glides them up and down its banks en route to work in Manhattan each day. While many pass the time reading the morning paper or drifting in and out of sleep, others simply gaze out the window and watch it pass by at 60 miles an hour. For commercial photographer Ted Kawalerski, the Hudson River is more than a passing moment.
It is a string of moments captured with his camera over the last 20 years and brought to life in the form of an exhibition titled, “The Hudson – Top to Bottom” which opens December 6th at MV Labs located at 33 Little West 12th Street in Manhattan’s Meat Packing District.
At first glance, one immediately understands the relationship Kawalerski has established with the stretch of land, which begins at Lake Tear of the Clouds , and ends in lower Manhattan. His photographs – all black & white – illustrate the majestic beauty of the Hudson’s landscape, along with its blemishes, and combine both to create a perspective that is honest, accurate and sincere. Equally impressive are the portraits of those who live along the river’s banks. Kawalerski has captured the essence of their being, often visiting with his subjects several times without ever lifting the camera to his eye. The result is an amazing collection of visual stories told through the eyes of those who invited Kawalerski into their lives. Images that reveal who they are and their sense of pride as if they were the personal gatekeepers and protectors of the river.
“The portraits that I have made are as important as the landscapes themselves,” Ted Kawalerski said.
“I love to hear their stories and try to share them through the photographs,” Kawalerski explains. A portrait taken of Randy King, a marina owner and the “ultimate raconteur,” captures the personality of the man and grittiness that is a pervasive element along the river. Another photograph of reeds in Piermont, New York, is an example of the incredibly beautiful and serene locations that exist along the Hudson.
“As the light unfolded,” Kawalerski explains, “I was shocked at how a boring and dull scene serendipitously turned into a fabulous landscape.”
“It’s not that others haven’t attempted to document the Hudson River before,” says Jim Megargee, Master Printer and co-owner of MV Labs who will host the exhibit. “Ted shares a unique perspective and understanding of what makes this river an important resource and no one aspect has been overlooked – not its people, its power or its beauty. He peels away layer after layer, giving us a rare view of the river today,” Megargee concluded.
Hudson River –Top to Bottom shares with viewers what people who live there see everyday. A large area of the coastline has been industrial for many years. Old manufacturing facilities, train tracks and power lines are part of the landscape – like it or not – and rather than look away, Kawalerski carefully integrates this aesthetic with the untouched and pristine elements of the river.
Exhibit Opening Details
“Hudson River – From Top to Bottom” is a collection of 30 custom black-and-white prints which explore and illustrate 30 years of the Hudson River, its landscape and its people. The exhibit opened on Thursday, December 6th, 2007 at MV Labs located at 33 Little West 12th Street (#204) in Manhattan’s Meat Packing District and remain on exhibit through January 18, 2008. Gallery hours are Monday – Friday, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday by appointment only.
Ted Kawalerski is a New York-based photographer who has worked on assignments for corporations, graphic design firms and advertising agencies for over 30 years. He regularly travels worldwide for clients such as Bausch & Lomb, Chevron, Ernst & Young, Fortune Brands, Harris Corporation, Johnson & Johnson and many others. Ted lives in Sleepy Hollow, New York near the northern tip of the Hudson river where he began to explore the wonders of the Hudson and the people who live along its banks.