Night Walk, the new book from photographer Ken Schles, takes a fascinating look at the nightlife of New york. Grainy and confrontational, the work paints a harsh picture of New york and the suffering of its inhabitants.
The book itself seems to follow a loose walking narrative. We are taken through the book by the inclusion of occasional images featuring people passing through the streets on their way to some unknown location. Further in, we are taken around seedy apartment blocks and clubs where we see a version of 80’s New york life that has rarely been seen before. Curiously, we occasionally see images of individuals heading towards fireworks in the sky. This gives the impression that although the individuals seem to be enjoying their anarchic lives, they also long for an escape.
We are never told the intention of the work and are thankfully left to make up are own version of the story. In the final images of the book we are shown the smiling faces of women as the cityscape turns to day. The night has come to an end and they look happy to begin a new day, ending the book with a sense of hope. I have waited a long time for this book to be released and it was well worth the wait. I also highly recommended checking out the brilliant Invisible City by Ken Schles, likewise published by Steidl.