Halloween in the New York that Was

I made the photos shown in this story in or around the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade in the 1980s in New York City. The versions of my images shown here were re-photographed using my iPhone from the reproductions in the book Masked Culture: The Greenwich Village Halloween Parade (Columbia University Press, 1994).

Mask of the Plague © Harold Davis

Mask of the Plague © Harold Davis

For the most part, to make these images I used Kodachrome slide film, with direct flash connected to the camera using an extension bracket. My habit was to talk to the subjects and ask their permission to make the photo (most were enthusiastic since of course a great deal of work went into their costumes).

I would also ask them to say what they were costumed as, which usually became my title for the image (although sometimes the costume was pretty obvious, and the caption became merely descriptive).

Punk Dog with Cigarette © Harold Davis

Punk Dog with Cigarette © Harold Davis

My kids are incredulous when I tell them that phone booths used to be a thing, so the photo (below) of the witch does double-duty as evidence.

Witch in a Phone Booth © Harold Davis

Witch in a Phone Booth © Harold Davis

As I noted, the original photos were photographed on Kodachrome, and I still have my archive and these slides (hidden in plain sight somewhere in my larger archive!).

One of these days I am going to go through the old images and make some high resolution scans. The problem, of course, is that I would rather look ahead and make new work rather than recycle the past. In the meantime, if New York City before the fall of the World Trade Towers interests you, you can check out this story.

This entry was posted in Photography.

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  1. By Skeletons in the Hood on October 22, 2020 at 12:57 pm

    […] « Halloween in the New York that Was […]

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