BRIAN ROSEPHOTOGRAPHY Architectural PhotographyFine Art

In a recent correspondence, a friend writes:

Photographs -- the millions of details - the mayhem of shape and color -- the graph/grid that seems to be an underlay of every city scape picture you take. Like an Agnes Martin drawing -- or a simple road map of the Jeffersonian grid -- it is either your photo’s structure/foundation from which it is built on, or it may be its ghost -- and that’s part of this story

Its beautifully written, made me extremely nostalgic (in a great way) and frankly puts me back in NYC in the late 70’s early 80’s which in my mind NYC will always remain...

There are a few different ways to read/look at this book -- and once you reach the Slocum monument -- Berlin wall – Hurricane Sandy, the book becomes a real first I was thrown off a bit…thinking this was about the WTC and its particular life in the city...but I find out it’s the other way around -- its about the life of the city. It’s about dying and dying off. Its about leaving things behind that disappear from sight, but never left out of the story…

Photographs by Brian Rose
Foreword by Sean Corcoran

Golden Section Publishers, 2016

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The World Trade Center was still new when I arrived in New York in the summer of 1977. Just three years before, Philippe Petit had made his famous high wire walk between the partially completed Twin Towers. I was a student then, and I made photographs all over lower Manhattan – many that included the Twin Towers.

In 1980 I photographed the Lower East Side of New York with the World Trade Center standing off in the distance, an imperious symbol of wealth and power. And a few years later, I received a grant to photograph the financial district, and the Twin Towers were a constant presence overshadowing the already lofty spires of Manhattan.

The Twin Towers were the perfect backdrop buildings, aloof from the passions below. And from afar they often appeared slightly out of focus, to be dematerializing into the sky, an optical effect caused by the steel pinstripes of the towers’ skin.

Those who masterminded the destruction of the World Trade Center on 9/11 understood the potency of the Twin Towers as image and symbol. And they knew that striking at that image would unleash forces not easily returned to station.

I began collecting images of the Twin Towers as I moved around the city with my camera -- murals, posters, and memorials. I also decide to make periodic trips downtown – to what was still called ground zero – to document the rebuilding of the site and follow the rise of One World Trade Center, the skyscraper designed to replace the Twin Towers on the skyline.

None of this photography, from 1977 to the present was ever intended as a unified chronicle or portrait of place. It all happened in an ad hoc way, one thing, and then another. But a few years ago, much to my surprise, I realized that I had a book. I could tell the epic story of the World Trade Center through the pictures I had accumulated over the years. WTC is a book about the Twin Towers, their presence and absence, and the rebuilding of the city after September 11.   

It is also a tribute to New Yorkers and all who carry a piece of this great city with them. It is a book that commemorates rather than exploits, a book that preserves memories, both painful and hopeful, and celebrates, however cautiously, the resilience of this city in the face of adversity.