BRIAN ROSEPHOTOGRAPHY Architectural PhotographyFine Art


Time and Space on the Lower East Side

In 1980 I photographed the Lower East Side of Manhattan with fellow photographer Ed Fausty. This was my first project after graduating from Cooper Union. I am now re-photographing the neighborthood some 30 years later. The changes to this quintessential American immigrant neighborhood are stunning--though its grittiness and vibrancy remains--it is now, perhaps, less a separate enclave and more a piece of the whole fabric of Manhattan.


Berlin: In From the Cold

After the Wall opened, I continued to visit Berlin as Germany reunified, and the city began, fitfully, to knit itself together. I photographed the former no man’s land of the Wall, the ruins and the rebuilding of Potsdamer Platz. Berlin is now one city, though as always a multi-centered metropolis. Its divisions remain evident, historical fault lines exposed—and the Wall, preserved in a few slabs here and there, remains a powerful artifact of the imagination.

Amsterdam On Edge

The Dutch believe that society can be made—that it is malleable and can be designed and constructed. They skillfully employ modest means to reach ambitious goals. When they fail they keep on trying. But sometimes I see them forever pushing on their pedals against the wind, the gleaming city in the distance a mirage rather than reality.

The Lost Border

In the summer of ‘85 I made my first trip to Germany, flying from New York to Frankfurt with my 4x5 view camera. I rented a VW hatchback and began a journey along the great political fault line of the last half of the twentieth century. Within four years the Cold War was over, and the fences and walls that extended from the Baltic to Adriatic Seas were dismantled.

New York primeval

Moving away from the man-made structures of the urban landscape, which I had become accustomed to photographing, I found pictures in the brambles, marshes, and forested tracts of the city park system. It is often a tough unpicturesque nature that prevails--if it had a personality--disdainful of well ordered vistas and the idealized sublime. For a number of years in the 1980s it was my secret garden hidden in the heart of New York.


The Twin Towers remained aloof from the passions below. They were the perfect backdrop buildings, minimalist pylons, signifying nothing in particular—unlike the heroic Empire State Building—but serving always as inscrutable signposts. If you emerged squinting from the subway, momentarily disoriented, the Twin Towers, shimmering in the distance, visible from almost everywhere in the city, helped you get your bearings.