Neal Slavin, Holland Tunnel, 1979

Neal Slavin (1941)

Holland Tunnel (from the series When Two of More are Gathered Together)

1979

11” x 14”

Ektacolor photograph (Ed. 29/75)

Gift

 

Neal Slavin is a native New Yorker who started documenting gatherings and groups in 1927. Slavin became one of the first artists to produce fine art photography in color. While his pictures themselves are most often posed, Slavin has always asked that his subjects arrange themselves in front of the camera, allowing natural hierarchies, group dynamics, and indication of status to emerge.

Can you guess how many people are in this portrait? This colorful photograph is of a large group of more than 60 people posing in front of the entrance of the Holland Tunnel. People of the biggest subgroup on the left side of us are wearing dark uniforms with police hats. The center front group’s uniform is bright blue. Right behind them, people are standing in brown suits. On the back rows of the center group are people wearing gray uniforms with orange helmets. To the right of the picture, a small group is standing in white uniforms and police hats. Behind the crowd is a yellow police car, a white trailer with “Seatrain” written on the top left, the black Holland Tunnel entrance with white “HOLLAND TUNNEL” sign and a clock between the words. On the background, a mid-rise red brick building is visible on the left and a yellow tractor and a cigarette commercial poster can be spotted on the right.

 

Written and audio by Dasom Sohn

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