Can you see me now?
The year before American Surfaces, in ’71, I was using a small 35 mm. I had hair to my shoulders and looked sort of like a hippie, and every now and then I’d be photographing in a neighborhood and some resident would call the police. The cops would ask me, “What are you doing?” and every now and then I was told to get out of the neighborhood. Once I started using a view camera that never happened. That the camera is so conspicuous gives it even greater license. The extreme examples of this are two works from a series that I’ve never shown before—New York City photographs that I did with an 8×10 of people interacting on the street. And I’d never before been more invisible. I would stand at 72nd and Broadway or 52nd and 5th with this big camera, and people would just walk around me. I photographed people at crosswalks, people hailing a cab, and I’d be six feet away from them taking their picture with an 8×10 camera, and no one would be paying any attention to me.