THE NARROWS

TOBIAS FRERE-JONES

JUNE 18 – JULY 11 2009

The experience of a city is diffuse, built more of passing details than of postcard views. Both as cultural indicators and as pervasive features of the environment, letterforms impart a sense of place and identity, like an accent in speech.

Beginning in 2002, I have been documenting the lettering of New York City. Originally a tangent from the research for the Gotham typeface, this ongoing project records the painted, gilded, carved and cast lettering of the city’s public spaces.

Few if any of the artisans behind this lettering have ever been recognized or honored, and many examples of their craft are falling to New York’s relentless cycle of demolition and construction. Some pieces of lettering have already been lost since these photographs were taken...

Tobias Frere-Jones at the Narrows

 

Tobias Frere-Jones at the Narrows

 

Tobias Frere-Jones at the Narrows

 

Tobias Frere-Jones at the Narrows