At a weekend retreat with graduate students of NYU’s Steinhardt School of Education — I had absolutely no business being there except that a wonderful graduate student who worked for Neil Postman invited me — there was a PhD candidate who had researched the cultural history of glass. When people figured out how to make large panes of glass, suddenly Europeans had large windows that looked out onto gardens, which meant they started to tend their gardens with an eye to how they’d look from inside the house…. and shops sprouted large windows, which in turn spawned the art of window displays… and, inside the shops, glass cases allowed shopkeepers to make more merchandise visible while keeping it away from greedy hands… Better still, shoppers got to look and admire the wares on sale — through their own reflections in the glass.
Looking at Bill Meyers’ photographs at the Nailya Alexander Gallery got me thinking about the reflectivity of glass again. Photographers have been exploiting it for just about as long as they’ve had cameras, and in many (though by now means all) Meyers makes glass architecture his accomplice.
For images of more of his work — which ranges from scenes in the outer boroughs to musicians in NYC — check out Meyers’ site. It is well worth it.