Architecture of Cities: To Be Fearless

Philippe Starck: Ashai Breweries: Tokyo.

Fellini: ”…I am not directing the picture the picture is directing me: I only have to follow the picture…”

The dawn to midnight dreams begin: To be a nomad in the Cascadian wilderness: to arrive atop one of earth’s  extraordinary mountain ranges.

Do you remember Steve McQueen straddling his motorcycle in the Great Escape: He throttled the “bike’s rpm past seven-thousand while contemplating the unattainable. The great Mountain Goat elevating his eyes atop thirteen thousand feet: poised cloven hooves and muscular calves and thighs sheared to near nakedness: Portraying a fearless agile ability to scramble: his eyes saw the unattainable was with in reach.

I have two or three dreams in hand that I have promised myself: I would not die gripping those last gasping grasping dreams before realizing the best that my photography has to offer is near.

Lifting my eyes: I was neither a precocious or ferocious child: I think from day one I tried to roll the dice and see where they may fall: The Bumper Car challenges at the Pacific Ocean ParkWikipedia › wiki › Pacific_Ocean_Park amusement park was a last man standing event: No bawling allowed: Maybe that was when the lightbulb went off: How does a photographer manage a populated dense environment: Years later in cities like Mexico City, Dhaka,Tokyo,Sao Paulo I realized my childhood bumper car competition was a good primer for my life competing with the eyes of billions.

Philip Johnson and Mies Van der Rohe: Seagrams Building, New York City.

Then there was the Go-Cart racetrack: an urban desolate neighborhood where one could pretend to be somebody going fast to nowhere: The track was designed like a faux LeMans track: It was a nine year old’s dream into adulthood: Maybe Carlos Castaneda or Oscar Niemeyer began as well to dream at nine:

I had not thought of becoming a photographer then: I realized then that to win races I needed to look ahead: beyond the turns to navigate and comprehend what my eyes might see: Funny thing about the photographer’s skills to see the picture or the world beyond the moment and into the past and as one might suggest back to the future:

One may race the Oval track at The Brickyard in Indianapolis The cars are fast, and the skills apparent: Does one need to race in a circle like a hamster to  change the way you see: does a camera see anything separate from the light before the twilight presents the end of the race: is there an elevation of vision that one might see evidence of fresh perspectives.

Debates are sometimes about converging and diverging ideas: The most beautiful Formula One Race track is possibly Belgian Grand Prix – F1 Race – Circuit de Spa-FrancorchampsFormula 1 › information resembles possibly a collection of secrets no matter how practiced you are at every turn: “Wow”! A mouthful of great visuals comes to mind: Racing at great speeds: putting your life on the line to win: what a photographer needs to do to see what is beyond the next corner: to see where the light takes the camera: to live at at fast speeds not to get somewhere: but to live an experience before time runs out:

The game is only to live in your mind absorbing what is possible: but warp speed is what is necessary to get to those places so you can make the necessary determinations for what the eye may see.

A photographer spends a lifetime with a bob and weave move: He is at once Joe Frazier and Mike Tyson: protecting and attacking at all cost: Fearless comes to mind: feeling the danger and feeling the joy of being in the moments while chasing what you have not yet seen.

New York City 42nd street: Chrysler Building and…

When I was becoming a photographer I was like a minor August Sander: I was merely recording contemporary art history’s names and places: Moore, Miro, Noguchi, De Kooning, Warhol, Basquiat, Haring, Johns Lichtenstein, Cage, Cunningham, Bourgeoise, Krasner, Frankenthaler, Motherwell, Koons and thousands more: I was a recorder of time in my time.

Those images today look like refugees from another era: unbeknownst to the youthful eye I was having conversations with light: a child playing magic tricks with light.

Today, I pursue the light of architecture and architectures’ light: The influence growing up a photographer with artists’ minds in tow was a magical experience. Today I am recording a different type of reveal: I daily espy a constant splay of cinema in cinematic light: It only exists in my eyes: I will try and continue to share my visual experiences rounding turns and chasing Mountain Goats and the unattainable.

I have measured my heroes for a lifetime: To use the word extraordinary is not an easy utterance or a mere passing thought.

There are footprints across cities and continents that may never be seen nor filled: This is the point I have realized that my photography is only partially about my camera: it is also about places and times never to be reconvened:

The numbers of a world’s disciplines that are homes to greatness are innumerable: Miles Davis trading with Coltrane: Ali sparring with the entire human race: Whales breaching across the Seven Seas: My Mountain goat teetering on life’s future end: These are good places to start.

How do I see this world: How will I capture a moment that lives in our future yet to be and in my history still not made: So let’s continue:

New Yorks’ 23rd Street looking West.

All photographs by Richard Schulman.

Richard Schulman is a photographer and writer. His books include Portraits of the New Architecture and Oxymoron & Pleonasmus. He lives in New York City.