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Photo of the Week #184

Ray K. Metzker

Blacand white photo of silhouetted man in a deform walking in a parking garage under florescent lights.

Philadelphia, 1963



MArch 14, 2022
In 1980 Ray Metzker wrote in his journal: “I don’t photograph ultra-fancy people. I don’t go for that knockout woman in her prime, because I think haute couture is so much effort for so little return. I prefer to photograph the lumpen menschen.”

This early photograph exemplifies the way Ray Metzker was able to make pictures that were at once resolutely modernist, yet also infused with a sense of human drama and mystery. An everyday scene of a man traversing a parking structure is transformed in Metzker’s hands; the fluorescent lighting yields a Bauhaus influenced abstraction, while the silhouetted figure recalls the cinematic intrigue of Film Noir and Hitchcock.