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 Melanie Einzig's World: Capturing The Unexpected
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Melanie Einzig's World: Capturing The Unexpected

Picture of Catherine Smith
Updated: 12 December 2015
Melanie Einzig has always loved art, having dabbled in poetry and other creative mediums whilst in grade school and college. When she moved to New York City in the 1990s, she began experimenting with a Canon AE1 and NIKON FM2, capturing anything and everything that interested her. This camera would become the catalyst for her successful career as a NYC-based photojournalist. We explore Ms. Einzig’s inspiration, her vision, and her photography.

Melanie Einzig uses her art form to provoke a conversation between the camera and her subjects in New York City. One of her photographs titled ‘Teletransport’ (2000) showcases her curiosity regarding human behavior and the mind, examining the ways in which different people live in New York City. In this photograph, a public telephone is seen with a man’s brown shoe hanging off the side. On the ground, the other shoe faces away from the telephone.

‘September 11th’ (2001) is one of Ms. Einzig’s most unique and controversial photographs; it portrays a UPS deliveryman going about his rounds on the street, unaware of the World Trade Center’s horrifying destruction behind him. Initially, Ms. Einzig was hesitant to publish this photograph, concerned that it would appear insensitive and insulting. However, this piece provides a very real perspective of one of the most traumatizing events in New York City’s history. It reminds us that while the towers burned, people were at work, children were at school, and there were ‘people having toothaches’; there was, indeed, a period of time in which New Yorkers went about their business, unaware of how drastically their lives were about to change.

Thus, Melanie Einzig’s photographs are akin to the pages of a diary. She captures the candid, unexpected elements of New York City life, oftentimes with no original intention of shooting. Her street photography is both raw and real, capturing authentic moments in the lives of New Yorkers. ‘Whatever Works’ (2013) exhibits a woman in a bikini, laid out on a lounge chair next to a gated construction site, doing whatever it takes to enjoy the weather. This anonymous woman appears entirely disinterested in the opinions of others — typical of a real New York City resident.

Ms. Einzig has an extensive portfolio of street photography in vibrant locations like New York City as well as Istanbul and Mexico. She also photographs events such as conferences, family gatherings, exhibition openings and galas. Her work has been exhibited in an impressive list of publications as well as institutions, such as the Art Institute of Chicago Museum.