Structure and Colour

In Armory Arts Week: Large-Scale Architectural Photographs Taken on Michael Eastman’s Extensive Travels

Taken during his extensive travels throughout Cuba, Europe, Asia and the United States, American architectural photographer, Michael Eastman’s pieces explore colour and structure across a diverse range of cultures and time periods. ME5 Although he started out with a focus on black & white, as was the norm in 1960s fine art photography, he eventually moved on to using large format cameras and color film, exploring a new realm of expression in color. Micheal’s Havana photographs, (published in his book Havana, Prestel, 2011), are particularly vibrant, recalling the heydays of Havana’s history, whilst also paying attention to its economic decline. ‘Color is almost always what I see first,’ Michael told us. ‘After that it is form, and then I ask, is there a narrative here? A good photograph has to have a lot of things going on in it.’ We found out more about Micheal’s work, which is currently on view at Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York, to celebrate The Armory Show. ME09 ME7 ME6
The Plus: Did you come across any particular difficulties during all those years spent traveling?
Michael Eastman: Early on, it was finding a place to load and unload 4by5 film. With digital, it’s about getting the best file possible. Print making today is amazing, the control a photographer has.

TP: What inspired this exhibition?
ME: I have been photographing architecture since I started photography. After so much time, it was interesting to see the connections in the work from really very different places…

TP: The most immediately striking place you’ve visited?
ME: Venice.

TP: Favourite interior?
ME: Saint Louis Union Station Interior when it was abandoned.

TP: Where’ve you felt most at home?
ME: Havana.
ME8 ME10 ME1 ME4 ME2 Photos: © Michael Eastman/Courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York

Armory Arts Week works to highlight the distinct non-profit cultural organizations of New York city’s multiple neighborhoods and boroughs.