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New York City Pigeons On A Pedestal

The New York Pigeon by Andrew Garn is the outcome of eight years of photographic inquiry into the overlooked beauty of the pigeon. Using high-speed strobe photography, Garn, who is a native New Yorker, created studio portraits of the birds that look as though they could grace the pages of Vogue magazine. In spite of the ubiquity of pigeons in New York City, it’s rare for New Yorkers to slow down long enough to look at them closely. Garn’s portraits capture the “personalities, expressiveness, glorious feather iridescence and deeply hued eyes,” of this resolute city bird writes the publisher, powerHouse books, in the press release.

The book also illuminates the five-thousand-year history of the feral pigeon, exploring questions like, “Why are pigeons so successful in cities and not in the countryside? Why do they have such diverse plumage? Why are pigeons able to fly up to 500 miles per day but rarely do?”

One could say the pigeon is a good metaphor for the gritty, determined, resilient and glorious nature of New York City itself. The New York Pigeon puts this sometimes reviled and nearly always unheeded bird on a pedestal, bringing to light the nature in the midst of America’s most populous city. The book promises that the “savvy, graceful, kind pigeon will be invisible no more.”

The New York Pigeon: Behind the Feathers
Photography by Andrew Garn
Text by Emily S. Rueb and Rita McMahon
powerHouse Books

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