Following in the street-photography tradition of Helen Levitt, Alex Webb, and Vivian Maier, O’Shaughnessy captures the kinetic bustle of the changing streets and passing crowds in New York City. Over the last seven years, O’Shaughnessy has photographed daily on the streets of New York. Through her curious and quirky vision, we witness the play of human activity on the glittering sidewalks of the city. Woven into her cast of characters are the lonely, the soulful, and the proud. She has fallen for them all—perfect strangers.
The book is a celebration of contemporary city life, as well as an homage to the chaotic rush of New York City: the intersection of businessmen and tourists, shoppers, and grand dames, with families frozen in confusion, wonder, pain, frustration, sometimes even joy.
This publication is a reminder of the city’s captivating life, its diverse and welcoming energy, at a time when its streets have been altered by the Covid-19 crisis.
Perfect Strangers: New York City Street Photographs contains more than ninety color photographs and is accompanied by an introduction by Joel Meyerowitz.
As one of a growing number of women street photographers contributing to this dynamic genre, O’Shaughnessy enters the territory with clarity and a distinctly humanist eye, offering a refreshing addition to the tradition of street photography.
About the Author
Melissa O’Shaughnessy was born in 1960 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and studied at Georgetown University and the University of St. Thomas, graduating with a degree in journalism. She is now a New York City-based photographer.
Her work has been featured in numerous exhibitions and publications, and her work is included in the book Bystander: A History of Street Photography.
She is a member of UP Photographers, a collective of 27 international street photographers. Her first monograph, Perfect Strangers: New York City Street Photographs, will be published by Aperture in October 2020.