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The fifty extraordinary black-and-white photographs in this timeless collection, made by the internationally acclaimed photographer Abraham Menashe, focus on the people who frequented New York City's Tompkins Square Park, from 1997 to 1999.
During this two-year period, Tompkins Square Park was a gathering space for the community, but also provided asylum to a variety of indigent people, including runaway teens, the mentally ill, prostitutes, substance-abusers, vagabonds, and the homeless.
This distinct and diverse human family offers the viewer an encounter with the sacred and the profane, coexisting on common ground. We find a troubled teen, a neo-Nazi, a battered woman, a senior feeding pigeons, an assortment of lovers, an exhibitionist, volunteers with food for the hungry, a man meditating, a dancer perfecting his form.
The extreme "characters" have since vanished from the park. Today, boutiques and developers have made their imprint on a run-down neighborhood seeking a face-lift. The images preserve a unique period in the park's rich history, a time when the savage and the tender found harbor on public ground.