Photography book review: New York Arbor, By Mitch Epstein


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The Independent Culture

Despite urban development, the trees that inhabit New York City continue to thrive, contorting and adapting to their increasingly constrictive environment.

For three decades they have been a running theme in the work of Mitch Epstein, one of America's most influential contemporary photographers.

For New York Arbor Epstein explored the five boroughs of the city over one year. He searched for remarkable trees, often returning to photograph the same ones through changing light and seasons. The book features 42 analogue black and white prints which stress the crucial role of nature in urban life. Focusing on the trees in New York rather than the architecture and bustle for which it is more renowned, Epstein inverts people's view of "the city that never sleeps": instead of functioning as a discreet backdrop, the trees dominate the human lives and activity that surround them.