From the 1993 Press Release by New York Foreign Press Center:
“The Other Side of NY”
Photographs by Kamran Ashtary
The camera’s eye traditionally romanticizes or demonizes New York City — a seductive solution to its soaring skyscrapers and dark underside.
But the photographs of Dutch artist/photojournalist Kamran Ashtary currently on display at the Foreign Press Center do something else. They show the New York City that New Yorkers live with every day — the city they see out the window and pass on the streets. These are the alleyways and apartments, the vacant lots and back lots and underpasses and intersections, the neighborhood bar and grill, the factories that make New York New York to the people who live here.
For all the “ordinariness” of these locales, however, Kamran Ashtary has given us an extraordinary vision of the city; the quality of light and color in these photographs gets under the skin of the viewer. Ashtary has captured the different moods of New York light — in the cold lights and darks of DUMBO (“down under the Manhattan Bridge” — the Soho of the next century). ever-so-slightly etched in the faintest red of morning — in the eerie “spaceship” quality of a factory’s yellow night lights — in the eerie moment at dusk where the reflected luminosity of a sun already set is of exactly the same intensity as the few lights glowing from windows, so that the sky is not bl blue but darkly, impossibly red. New Yorkers will see something utterly new in these photographs and recognize it; others will want to see more.