Is photography what brought you to New York?
What brought me to New York? Curiosity. I’ve lived in five different cities in Germany. I lived in Paderborn, Aachen, Essen, Munich and Hamburg. I kind of rotated out of the country. I had been to New York in 1984 on vacation, and I was just hooked. I was 30 when I came back here for longer in ‘85 and New York City was everything a photographer could wish for at the time. It was so creative.
How did this series come about? What was the inspiration behind it?
It came about organically. All of a sudden we were dealing with the pandemic, and the whole city was in shock. I also work as a photojournalist, so my adrenaline starts flowing when things happen or in this case, stop happening. It was a complete standstill. From one day to the next. It was shocking and as a photojournalist it’s shocking but it’s also like “hey, I want to be out there - be a part of this, document it”. I don’t live far from Times Square, so that’s where I usually go when, for instance, a blizzard hits. That’s where I went when the lockdown was announced and I’ve never ever seen that place empty in the middle of the day. It doesn’t happen, that lack of action, especially in New York. As things got worse with the pandemic and even less people were out, I just kept walking around taking pictures. I’m not a landscape photographer, so I’m not really interested in just photographing empty streets. I’m a people photographer, and the few people walking around still had this New York style walk. Determined to get somewhere. I realized that showing a person walking through an otherwise empty street shows emptiness, and loneliness, better than a deserted street without a person in it. But the movement of that person also gave hope, and that’s how the title “Keep Going New York !!” was born.