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Irving GreinesThis exhibit includes large-scale color photographs by Irving Greines from his series, Urban Wilderness – Chaos Transformed, a fine art exploration of the nooks and crannies of blighted urban environments. During the decade of the 1990’s when these images were taken, Greines witnessed urban renewal and the destruction of areas once rich in subject matter as the old was replaced with the new, the dirty with the clean. For the artist, these changes—all in the name of "progress"—came at a steep cultural price. The old neighborhoods lost what made them special.
Urban Wilderness – Chaos Transformed
"The subjects captured in Urban Wilderness were ephemeral. They existed, as portrayed, only for the briefest of moments. Then, they mutated and disappeared forever—obliterated by the next wave of grime, weather, graffiti and, ultimately, gentrification. Images captured one moment would often disappear within hours. In real life, many of the subjects were exceedingly small, requiring a macro lens and tripod."
The project commenced in the alleys of San Francisco’s Chinatown in 1990. But Chinatown, while old and colorful, proved too clean for Greines. In 1992 the focus shifted to Manhattan, where there was infinitely more grit and interaction between the locals and their environment. In Manhattan, Greines discovered a seemingly endless bounty of visual riches between Houston and Canal (bounded by the rivers), in Alphabet City and in the industrial sections of Tribeca. While Manhattan was the heart of the project, other images were captured in central Los Angeles, Rome, and in the outlying neighborhoods of Paris.
Irving Greines, a Los Angeles native, has pursued his passion for photography for more than fifty years. His fine art work is held in prominent collections, including the permanent collections of The Museum of Photographic Arts (San Diego, Balboa Park), The Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center (University of Texas, Austin), The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center (Vassar College, New York), The Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery and Sculpture Garden (University of Nebraska, Lincoln) and The Eli and Edith Broad Collection (New York). Irving‘s work has been exhibited in multiple venues, including a solo show in Washington DC at The Headquarters Museum of the American Institute of Architects, and has been published in the Washington Post and in Camera Arts, Hasselblad Forum, Camera & Darkroom and Popular Photography magazines.