‘Abandon all hope – You Who Enter Here.‘
Dante’s Inferno Canto III
“Living in New York City gives people real incentives to want things that nobody else wants.”
New York is a city of hope. Those who come and stay are searching. Modern New York peddles us infinite possibilities. Hope is renewed each morning, only to be destroyed by sundown. This cycle inverts everything; internal lives become externalized; the city and the individual merge.
On one hand these photographs are literal; they are street photographs, but at the same time they function as metaphor. The dichotomy between literal and symbolic blurs the forms in the images. The subjects – salon advertisements, a man alone in a diner at night, faces in a church, a woman’s legs darting across the street – are everyday moments and things, yet at the same time they assume meaning beyond first appearances. Transmuted through the language of religion, these photographs become sketches of human nature. The search for meaning is consumed, regurgitated, and made modern.
Apostasy means to renounce one’s faith. This faith is not necessarily in a god, but that which drives us and gives us meaning; in our case the city. In New York nothing is sacred, except “progress”. Old archetypes become contemporary, modern mythologies collide with the past, distorted by the compulsion for endless advancement. Yet, memory remains, found in the wet streets, hurried glances, and illuminated by flickering neon.
In New York, we are become a city of apostates.
Jonathan Lucas Auch was born in New York City in 1984. He studied painting at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena California. Upon returning to New York City and training as darkroom printer, Jonathan Auch has worked as an assistant to street photographer Bruce Gilden. For 3 years he was the exhibition printer and assistant for photojournalist James Nachtwey, where he was responsible for all print production used in exhibits, periodicals, galleries, and museums including: the TED prize, Le Laboratoire, Max-Planck-Institut and Look3.
As a freelance photographer, Jonathan works both on the street and producing photo/video reportage on a variety of stories which focus on political, cultural and emotional isolation, alienation, loneliness, racism and discrimination. Auch has enjoyed numerous exhibitions, most recently “Front Line,” at Lorimoto Gallery, New York, NY. Other exhibitions include “Highlights,” The Gallery at LPR, New York, NY; “WBAI Sandy Benefit Show,” Steve Kasher Gallery, New York, NY; “Occupy,” RagTag Gallery, Columbia, Missouri; “THE FENCE at Photoville,” New York, NY; “和 [Wa] Photography Auction: Japan Tsunami Relief” 25CPW, New York, NY; “Sonje (Creole for Remember),” Sacred Gallery NYC, New York, NY; “El Tropico de Cáncer,” Fuller Gallery, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; and the upcoming “MCNY Rising Waters Exhibition,” New York, NY. His photography has been featured in the New York Times and his work has been highlighted by Rangefinder Magazine, Bushwick Daily, and the Associated Press.