Invisible City: Photographs by Ken Schles
Twelvetrees Press, 1988. Pasadena, California. 80 pages, 62 photographs.
"The real image of New York is rarely clear to anyone living in it, except as tenacious sensation... a picture book that comprehends both the shambles and the thrall of the city."
— Guy Trebay, The Village Voice.
"Perhaps one of the greatest portrayals of nocturnal urban life of the 20th Century -- certainly keeping equal company with Brassai's classic Paris de Nuit." — Eric Miles, Photo-Eye.
"hellishly brilliant." — Vince Aletti, The New Yorker. (more reviews).
A New York Times notable book of the Year and awarded by AIGA for book design, Invisible City also appears in 802 Photo Books from the M + M Auer Collection, a compendium of the most important books in the history of photography. In 1992 Invisible City was exhibited in More Than One Photography at the Museum of Modern Art, an exhibit that surveyed the range photographic practice in various media. Invisible City was the sole representative of the published photographic book.
For a decade Ken Schles watched the passing of time from his Lower East Side neighborhood. His camera fixed the instances of his observations, and these moments become the foundation of his invisible city. Friends and architecture come under the scrutiny of his lens and, when sorted and viewed in the pages of this book, a remarkable achievement of personal vision emerges.
Currently out of print, copies may be found on the web. A page-by-page turn video of the complete book can be seen here. Click on the cover to begin your Invisible City journey,
Also see Ken Schles: Invisible City, a digital resource. A free crowd-sourced eBook study by the Photo Book Club (UK). Includes interviews and other background material.
Invisible City texts by Lewis Mumford, Jorge Luis Borges, Franz Kafka, George Orwell, Jean Baudrillard. 9.1 x 6.81 in. Design by Ken Schles and Jack Woody.