Lonely Planet Writer

New York's most iconic buildings reimagined on deserted streets

A new exhibition in New York of the city’s most iconic buildings shows them in a new light, with the bustle of modern life stripped out. Photographer Marc Yankus has taken out the traffic, the crowds and litter from his shots, creating a clean and pristine view of how the city would look without “the background noise” as described by Vanity Fair.

Nineteenth Street by Marc Yankus
Nineteenth Street by Marc Yankus Image by ClampArt

“The Secret Lives of Buildings,” is Marc Yankus’s fifth solo show at ClampArt gallery, and the first exhibition in the gallery’s new space in  the Flower District of Manhattan.

Seventh and Bedford by Marc Yankus
Seventh and Bedford by Marc Yankus Image by ClampArt

He explains how he is looking to document New York’s often overlooked buildings in his work: “I seek to document New York’s iconic, lost, and forgotten architecture, from humble, small buildings to soaring skyscrapers. . . The buildings are not presented simply as they are. They represent my vision of how they ought to be seen.”

The Empire, Marc Yankus
The Empire, Marc Yankus Image by ClampArt

“On my way to the museum one day when I was a boy, I was horrified to see wrecking crews knocking down one of my favorite buildings, a Beaux-Arts apartment building on 79th Street. In the months that followed, a monstrosity of a tower rose in its place. And while that eyesore is still standing today, the lost building—gone now for 40 years—endures in my memory as a fading, elegiac postcard of a lost time and place.”

Haughwout Building. Marc Yankus, 2016
Haughwout Building. Marc Yankus, 2016 Image by ClampArt

Yanus, whose work has graced the covers of many books of authors including Alan Hollinghurst,  Salman Rushdie and Philip Roth revealed to Lonely Planet the one building in New York he encourages visitors to check out. “Don’t miss the Flatiron building on 23rd and 5th Avenue. It’s such an amazing unique building which is a triangle and comes to a point as it reaches out toward 23rd Street. I love the flatness of the sides of the buildings. Another building that is not as well know but is similar to the Flatiron is called the Northern Dispensary. It was built and completed in 1831 in Greenwich Village. This building like the Flatiron has similar qualities but has a much smaller footprint.”

Flatiron Building, Marc Yankus
Flatiron Building, Marc Yankus Image by ClampArt
The Ansonia Mar Yankus 2016
The Ansonia Mark Yankus 2016 Image by ClampArt
West Seventy Second 2016
West Seventy Second 2016 Marc Yankus Image by: Clamp Art 
New-City, Marc Yankus
New-City, Marc Yankus Image by ClampArt
Three Buildings on West-Tenth Street 2015 Marc-Yankus
Three Buildings on West-Tenth Street 2015 Marc-Yankus Image by ClampArt

The exhibition The Secret Lives of Buildings runs at ClampArt gallery until 26 November.