The New Yorker


Jul 20, 2009

Other photographers are known for their pictures of Los Angeles, Paris, or Tokyo. Cohen’s beat is Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, his gritty, working-class home town, but he’s not exactly recording its civic landmarks. His subjects are the people he encounters on the streets, often at such close range that the work would feel confrontational, even rude, if it weren’t so good-natured and amused. Although these terrific color prints are a product of the all but obsolete dye-transfer process, there’s nothing precious about them; Cohen’s dirty realism—his keen eye for grime, bruises, and decay—rules. His appetite for grunge is voracious, and we end up sharing his hunger. Through Aug. 28. (Hasted Hunt, 529 W. 20th St. 212-627-0006.)