Jonathan Brand’s photographs time travel to New York’s Lower East and Upper West in the late 1950s and 1960s. Brand (born 1933), a native New Yorker, recorded the city he saw on his way to and from work as a census take and advertising copywriter. In his book Lower East and Upper West: New York City Photographs 1957–1968, we see “striking images of New Yorkers engaged in everyday pursuits, from the Bowery to Riverside Park, juice stands and barbershops to Theatre in the Streets”.
Growing up, I don’t ever remember a time when my father was not taking pictures. He usually had two Leicas strung around his neck and would casually grab shots without breaking stride. Sometimes he didn’t even raise the viewfinder to his eye; he focused and adjusted the aperture almost automatically. This was in keeping with his unobtrusive style as a street photographer – matter-of-fact, almost anonymous.
– Ulrika Brand, Jonathan’s daughter
“My father bought his first camera in 1956 in Norway, where he was a Fulbright Student at the University of Oslo. Back in the United States, his love of the medium developed and grew through practice and study with some of the most accomplished photographers of the day: Richard Avedon, Garry Winogrand, David Vestal, and Bruce Davidson. Winogrand became a close friend and was his companion during lunchtime photographic forays in Midtown Manhattan. This work and relationship was the subject of a 2014 exhibition, Two-Way Street, at the Portland Art Museum in Oregon.”