peter fahrni    
Peter Fahrni

I am a late arrival to my own photography. For much of my professional life, I have been running a prepress department, producing photography books, and creating photography exhibits for a web gallery. My love of photography has opened my eyes to the expressive possibility of the art form, while my reverence for great photographers has closed them for too long to the possibility of picking up a camera myself.

ANTI-TRUMP PROTESTS 2016/17   Ever since Donald Trump entered the race for the GOP presidential nomination in June 2015, hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers have taken to the streets to protest his inflammatory rhetoric that only months later would solidify in equally inflammatory cabinet appointments and executive orders. But Trump’s unfettered assault on democratic values also brought out the best in a broad coalition of activist groups, working together to resist an authoritarian America. How heartening to march alongside fellow New Yorkers and to witness the sustained support, love, and ingenuity that went into countless protests and rallies!

TIMES SQUARE   After the redevelopment of Times Square, which pushed pimps and prostitutes, and drug addicts and dope peddlers out of sight, the area has re-emerged as a disneyfied version of itself. Today, hordes of costumed mascots hope to make a living by posing with tourists for a tip. The intensely competitive nature of the business and frequent involvement of police, responding to complaints about aggressive solicitation, is at odds with the projected wholesomeness of the cuddly creatures on display.

PILGRIM HILL   Pilgrim Hill, a gentle elevation close to Central Park’s East 72nd Street entrance, is named after a bronze sculpture by John Quincy Adams Ward, commemorating the Mayflower's landing at Plymouth Rock. The magical spot attracts revelers throughout the year — it provides one of the best slopes for sledding in the park, and in the warmer months, it's a popular spot for picnicking and lounging. By late April, a grove of extraordinarily beautiful Yoshiko cherry trees is in full bloom, with gatherings of onlookers taking in the sight — a 21st century form of pilgrimage?

IN PLAIN SIGHT   My camera is an ever-present teacher in the art of observation. The degree to which I’m able to fully arrive in the moment determines the usefulness of my shots — simply looking at what's in front of me is no guarantee that I actually see. At this point, many of the best images I encounter on any given day are still not the ones I find on my memory card, but the ones I remember missing.

BLACK LIVES MATTER   The death of Eric Garner (July 17, 2014), an unarmed black man from Staten Island, at the hands of a New York City police officer, and the subsequent decision by a Grand Jury not to indict, set off a wave of protests across the US. This group of images documents some of the NYC demonstrations in December 2014.

KINDRED SPIRITS   1-14: The 2015 NYC Drag March, coinciding with SCOTUS’ affirmative ruling on marriage equality, produced a particularly boisterous and celebratory crowd.
15-21: Performance by Circus Amok, also taking place in Tompkin Square Park, NYC
22-28: The 2014 NYC Drag March. All three gatherings share a spirit of inclusiveness, playful exuberance and radical creativity.