New York 1986 - Jacky Chapman

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New York 1986 - Jacky Chapman - Café Royal Books

"American TV cop shows, a postcard, and a lifelong fascination with America.

As a young kid in Leeds in the seventies, I sat with Dad looking longingly through his Royal Navy photo album. Tantalising images and postcards with sticky corners offered glimpses of an adventurous life and places I never heard of and never expected to see.

Dad wished to see the world. At eighteen and unbeknownst to his parents he signed on the dotted line and joined the Royal Navy. One postcard I returned to often, sent to my grandparents in 1958, showed lower Manhattan. On the back it reads - "Late afternoon sunlight splashes over lower Manhattan skyscrapers as steamer is guided from pier by powerful tugboat." | was hooked! NY would be the first destination when I grew Up!

Saturday nights were rituals of watching endless US cop shows - Starsky and Hutch, Kodak, McCloud, CHIPS, Streets of San Francisco, or Mum's favourite, the rumpled, cigar puffing Columbo! I was an 'America obsessed' teenager!

As a photography student in the eighties, I nurtured this obsession. I discovered the FSA photographers, but also iconic street photographers like Garry Winogrand and Bruce Davidson. As I embarked on my MA in 1986, I knew the time was right to bring my childhood dream to fruition - a photo story in the "Big Apple"! Armed with my Canon AE-1, black and white film, a couple of lenses, and with all my excitement and trepidation wrapped up in one little rug sack, I stepped off a plane at JFK into this new world! I spent my whole visit either in a state of fear, or utter exhilaration. NY was a cacophony of sounds, colours, smells, and distractions. It was gritty, but pulsated energy, it was impoverished, but also opulent. It was exciting but dangerous. Walking through neighbourhoods or just popping around street corners was always" unpredictable.

  • 36 pages
  • printed in the UK
  • staple bound
  • 14cm x 20cm

About Café Royal Books:

"Café Royal Books is the idea of Craig Atkinson, an artist and lecturer. Our first title was published in 2005.

Craig wanted to create a way to make artwork accessible to a wider audience. The solution needed to be small, functional, open to collaboration, affordable, and work independently of galleries. These ideas remain at the heart of what we do.

We’re a small family-run publisher based in England, next to the woodland, dunes, and windswept beaches of the North West coast — we’re always inspired by the vastness, calm and energy of this environment. 

We make weekly publications, focussing on documentary photography linked to Britain and Ireland, printed and bound locally by a small 170 year old printing company. Libraries and museums around the world collect the books, so the work will remain preserved and accessible for many years. Our books don’t need batteries, or screens. We hope they will be used, create conversation and be passed down through family generations."

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