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Inside the Colorful, Vibrant World of Jay Maisel

© Jay Maisel

© Jay Maisel

“There’s nothing I’m not interested in shooting,” photographer Jay Maisel said in a 2011 documentary by The Big Picture, “I have no agenda.”

As part of Month of Photography Los Angeles, Blazing Editions and ChromaLuxe have put together a Maisel retrospective at Space15Twenty, featuring 30-plus images spanning six decades of his iconic career.

Maisel is in many ways the quintessential New Yorker. In addition to capturing the city streets  over the course of a nearly an entire generation, he made headlines in 2015 for selling his 72-room building for $55 million. At the time he bought it in 1966, the now-famous 190 Bowery was for sale at only $102 thousand.

The sale of 190 Bowery is one of those quirky and fun photography tales, but it also speaks to something profound about who Maisel is as an artist and a person. He finds beauty in surprising places, and he often finds it before the rest of us even begin to take notice. He saw magic in that old building, and he sees it everywhere he goes.

Maisel is recognized for his allegiance to three elements: “light, gesture, and color.” As a street photographer, he hunts them. The stories behind the pictures are told through details of form and structure. Every image in Jay Maisel: 60 Years of Photography has been made on ChromaLuxe metal prints, a process that has given new life to historic pictures and ensured a long-lasting legacy.

Maisel’s work, freed from what he might call an “agenda,” has a singular brand of spirit and delight. In The Big Picture documentary, he addressed the cliché of the tortured artist. “Pain is not a conduit to art or joy,” he said, “That’s crap.” His pictures, at their core, are about the wonder of bring alive.

Sponsored by Blazing Editions and ChromaLuxe, Jay Maisel: 60 Years of Photography opens tomorrow, Saturday, January 28th, at Space15Twenty. The artist will be present, and he will speak at 7:00 PM. The exhibition will be on view through January 31, 2017. RSVP here.

© Jay Maisel

© Jay Maisel

© Jay Maisel

© Jay Maisel

© Jay Maisel

© Jay Maisel

© Jay Maisel

© Jay Maisel

© Jay Maisel

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