Fotograf Magazine

Private Views: A High-rise Panorama of Manhattan

When Hynek Alt handed me this book on the street (both of us in respirators and clumsily trying to maintain social distance without impeding our friendly and confidential communication), I was surprised by its format and production. It reminded me of popular Czechoslovak pictorial publications originating in the book Slovakia by Karel Plicka from the late 1930s, followed by Tibor Honty and his reproductions of Baroque sculpture thirty years later. All this was vulgarized in the 1980s by Karel Kuklík and Miroslav Krob with a series of books devoted to the Czech landscape and its dominant features. But when I finally felt the book at home and studied it in detail, I had to apologize to it in my mind. This is an interesting art project which, behind a series of largeformat photographs of exotic interiors of New York apartments and penthouses, reveals to the attentive observer and reader the world of the luxury real estate market. And it was precisely that emphasis on exoticism that probably caused my mistake in judgment and perception, in which reproductions of folk costumes, historical monuments and lovely landscapes take the place of the inaccessible living spaces of a distant metropolis.

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#39 delight, pain