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Ryan Mcginley

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Joel Meyerowitz Talks to Ryan McGinley About Shooting the Aftermath of 9/11

It has been two decades since 9/11, 20 years since two planes flew into the World Trade Center, killing thousands and changing New York City forever. One of the small blessings of that horrific tragedy is that the eminent street photographer Joel Meyerowitz, who over the course of his six-decade career has shot some of the most stunning portraits and cityscapes, took it upon himself to record the aftermath. For nine months, largely thanks to his own tenacity and understanding of history, Meyerowitz returned again and again to Ground Zero to document the site in all of its cruel collisions of steel, its fragile human moments, and the countless workers and volunteers who searched for survivors. We tend to think of visual artists as pioneers, revolutionaries, rebels, or romantics—and in Meyerowitz’s previous and subsequent work, he’s conjured all of these identities—but we rarely think of them as heroes.
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