Bryan R. Smith is an award-winning New York City-based photojournalist with twelve years of experience working for the New York Times, New York Daily News, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News and ZUMA Press. His work has appeared in The Guardian, The New Yorker, New York Magazine, Time, Newsweek, Forbes and other publications.
Smith began Love City while working on an unrelated project in early 2013 when he came upon the words “love child” tagged on a building in Brooklyn. Though graffiti is an integral part of the urban landscape, these words in particular resonated with him. Later that afternoon in Brooklyn he found “amore” tagged across a garage. It was seeing the same word; love, in two different locations and in two different languages that led him to begin a lengthy journey.
Since January 2013 he’s traversed New York City, borough by borough, neighborhood by neighborhood, collecting the ubiquitous graffitied words and images about and related to love that he has come across. Having spent years covering hard news in the City and abroad, he has chosen to record this aspect of the human condition. Working with his iPhone camera he is sharing some of the thousands of photographs he has collected on his blog, Love City.
Smith describes what he is collecting and curating as “Among the earliest form of communication, the analog version of social networking, like hieroglyphics and cave painting. It’s a dialogue and conversation written in the streets, on sidewalks, alleyways walls, doorways, lampposts, and on bridges. Anywhere and everywhere is a platform. The number of references to love is staggering. It is social networking in its earliest, purest form.”
The landscape of words and images will change over time, through the repaving of streets, repainting of walls, demolition of buildings, and natural evolution of the environment. New words and images will continue to appear, evolve and devolve.
Love City is a visual record of these impermanent professions and reflections of love.
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