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Zoe in New York


Doesn’t this look like a real New York gallery? Well, it is. And that’s Zoe’s work hanging on the walls.

I just have to get up here the amazingness of seeing Zoe Strauss‘ work in fine-art quality prints. The textures, the colors, the everything. It’s not that we don’t know what the photos look like. It’s that we don’t know what the photos look like. Honest.

Tastykakes piled high on the gallery’s reception desk

The whole affair at Silverstein Photography was outstanding, like the Tastykakes with the wine. Oh, there was beer too, and that’s what Mark Barry and Brent Burket were carrying around. Astrid Bowlby emerged from her Bushwick studio to check out the goings on.

And of course there was Zoe and the whole Zoe clan, including partner Lynn, mom Ilene Baker, sister/Strauss Photographic Enterprises CEO Savannah, and Aunt Jane. I finally met brother Walker and an additional aunt and uncle. Plus friends friends friends.

People searching through the $5 prints for the best Zoe Strauss ever. Honestly, they're all the best.
People searching through the $5 prints for the best Zoe Strauss ever. Honestly, they’re all the best.

People were picking through the file boxes of the $5 prints in a back room. I don’t know what did and didn’t sell by time the dust settled. But clearly the $5 color xeroxes were a hot ticket.

However, I must say that for $2,000 or $2,500 you can get a beautifully framed, jumbo-size archival ink print that will last a lifetime and keep on giving you something great to look at and think about. At that price it’s a steal–although the gallery had to twist Zoe’s arm to get her to sell them at that elevated price. She’s a $5 sort of gal.

One room had a slide projection

Seeing Zoe’s work in the cool environment of a big New York art gallery really highlights the things that make her photos magic, and I have to give a shout out to Brent Burket for nailing it. In that perfectly cool white box, the work is by contrast so warm and connected.

I got into a conversation with a dapper-looking photographer who said with a touch of awe that he couldn’t do what Zoe does.

I didn’t spend much time taking photos, because that makes me more distant from what’s going on around me. So after all this, I didn’t even get a snap of Zoe herself. I’ll have to console myself with the great memories. The way I take pictures, it’s probably better that way.