Tearsheet Time Capsule: The New Urban Landscape catalog – Photographed in 1988, published in 1990

By the late 80’s I had worked a couple of times for the ultra-hip NYC firm Drentell Doyle Partners. One of their big clients was World Wide Plaza, for which they did seemingly everything, at least the cool looking stuff. Found online: ‘Created to document an exhibition titled “The New Urban Landscape,” held at New York’s World Financial Center in 1988, this catalog contains a bewildering collection of arcane stories, cryptic essays, impressionistic photographs, and even a five-foot fold-out collage. The exhibition attempted to address the ever-changing urban environment through images, music, and dance and appears to have been a great success’. 

The show was part of a larger celebration of the completion and opening of the World Wide Plaza, and featured many well known contemporary artists and architects, who were invited to ‘Create visual works that addressed issues about the “city,” both positive  and negative’. So many people had a finger in this pie it is hard to tell who actually curated it. Participating artists included Nam June Paik, Joel Otterson, Vito Acconci, Richard Wentworth, and olde pal Jon Kessler, among many others. I was thrilled to be asked by Bill Drentell and Stephen Doyle to do my own photographic interpretation of the exhibition. In the catalog they published a four page photo essay which contained over 30 of my mini collages, plus the 5 foot long pull-out poster extravaganza.

Editors note: this was a strange moment in my art making – I was growing increasingly bored with my gridded composite panoramic approach, and was experimenting with simpler, rougher ideas, shooting in black & white film, printing on color paper, and adding subtle color shifts in the darkroom. The show itself was housed in the North Gatehouse, which was still under construction. What struck me immediately upon entering the space was how the art fit (blended?) so well in the raw, unfinished space, in some instances it was not immediately clear where some works ended and the space began… and what seemed to hold it all together was this massive linear web of pipes, tubes and conduit running across the unfinished ceiling of the entire space. It became the unifying ‘meta’ motif for the pictures I made, in particular the collage.  I saw it all as one unified entity….  I still don’t know exactly how I feel about this work, the whole enterprise was a bit of a punkish fever dream. I certainly was not yielding to any representational photography impulses, that’s for sure. DDP loved it; they had a framed print in the offices back then. Fortunately for the artists, they had another photographer taking real pictures….

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David McGlynn

David McGlynn is an artist living and working in New York City and Beverly, MA. Born and raised in the Bronx, NY, he received a BFA from SUNY Purchase in 1979.  Mr. McGlynn enjoys success as both a fine art photographer and as a professional commercial photographer. His specialty is photo collage, and he has been refining his unique style for the better part of three decades. He has shown his work at several group and solo shows, including the Alternative Museum, Queens Museum, Hudson River Museum, Luring Augustine Gallery, the Neuberger Museum and Broadway Windows. His work is included in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum, the Erie Art Museum, the New Britain Museum of American Art, the Forbes Gallery Collection, and various private collections. In addition, he has created large-scale works for permanent installation for a variety of clients, including Disney/ESPN Zone restaurants, Fox Network headquarters, and AT&T Corporate Headquarters.  His work has appeared in publications including WIRED, Newsweek, Time, Money, Forbes, Vibe, ESPN, New York Times, Traveler, Popular Science and Metropolitan Home. Corporate and advertising clients include Miller Brewing Company, ‘Absolut McGlynn’ for Absolut Vodka, Kodak Funsaver cameras, Compaq, American Express, Disney, Dime Bank, Polygram/Mercury Records, and the World Financial Center. Mr. McGlynn has received several awards including: American Photography Annual 7, 10, 11, 35; Society of Publication Designers Annual 18, 23, 27, 28 and 30; Graphis Poster and Graphis Digital. Portfolio spreads of his artwork have been published in: Life Magazine, Popular Photography, Idea (Japan), Photo Magazine (France), and Photo District News.