A New York City photographer is showcasing the beauty that you find between the flashing lights of Times Square in a new limited edition photography book.
Bob Krasner has been shooting and creating minimalist graphics of the city for the past seven years. In the summer of 2022, he was in Times Square when he noticed that occasionally the major entertainment hub had moments of stillness and quiet.
“Sometimes full billboards, every once in a while, the billboards will just go blank like for a second or two and while they switch to the next ad, they have a blank screen and then all of a sudden it fills in with imagery,” said Krasner. “I started shooting them and I really liked it. It’s such a different takeaway from Times Square than you’re used to seeing.”
Ever since, Krasner has returned to Times Square to shoot more of these images. Unlike many New Yorkers who may avoid the area because of the crowds and tourists, Krasner dives in head-first, relishing the opportunity to be there.
“You’re used to seeing thousands of people and billboards screaming at you from everywhere. People when they shoot Times Square, they tend to shoot the abundance of everything rather than just finding these kind of quiet abstract moments,” said Krasner. “I know most people who live in New York will go out of their way to walk around Times Square. I’ll go out of my way to walk right through it if I’m not taking pictures because the constant faces coming at you and they’re from everywhere, it’s like middle America and Europe — it’s just constant.”
After posting several of his photos of Times Square, Krasner got in touch with Akeem Duncan, who runs Quiet Lunch, a New York City-based publication that highlights and promotes the arts. Quiet Lunch had produced a book for a friend of Krasner’s in the past, and felt like the perfect medium.
The result was “The Archive № 7,” which as the title suggests, is the seventh installment of Quiet Lunch’s “The Archive” series. The book features a curated selection of Krasner’s Times Square photos.
The book will have a limited run with only 100 copies being printed (and also signed by Krasner).
“I think it’s a really nice little piece. [Duncan] took one look at the pictures and he was like, yes, absolutely, and he hadn’t even seen the Times Square stuff yet. He looked at my other stuff and I was like, yeah, I’ll do it,” said Krasner. “At that point, I realized that I had a really nice group of Times Square pictures and it would be perfect to do.”
Because the book is a limited run, there will only be a handful of people who are able to get their hands on one. For those who do, Krasner hopes that they are going to be able to take away something from it.
“A lot of times I’ll do pictures and I’ll put something up and somebody will say to me, ‘This really struck me emotionally.’ I think that they find things to relate to on a personal level that I would never have seen,” said Krasner. “I hope people enjoy that and I hope that you can find these moments of of serenity and order, even in a chaotic place like Times Square.”