River of Change: Jose Gaytan

wesrside87chsr-resize-by-jose-gaytan“I’ve been drawn to shore lines and urban decay and renewal sites since I arrived in NYC in 1979,” says Jose Gaytan, who will be showing some of his photography at Kaffe 1668 starting tomorrow in an exhibit titled The West Side Story (Below 14th Street), 1983–2009. “I was a runner during the 80’s and to the 90’s so I spent a lot of time jogging over the bridges and along the East River and Hudson River. I kept seeing all this great stuff as I jogged so I would began to carry a camera with me. Many of my images were taken during runs. I am attracted to shadows late afternoon sun casts on objects. Also to the graphic intensity of the objects I found on construction sites.”


Gaytan now lives in Park Slope—the New York Times’s Lens blog recently reported on his fascination with the Gowanus Canal—having moved from Soho in 2001. “I closed my loft on September 10, 2001! I was devastated by the loss of my Muse. I always planned to use these images in some way, but after 9/11 I could not bring my heart to deal with the edited and looking at the images. Too painful. Now the area has developed into a wonderful park and recreational playland. I only recently began ride my bike along the Hudson River bike path. I find the new architecture fascinating. Some of it is pretty scary with all the crooked lines. It is like an earthquake hit the city and these buildings settled crooked.”

Can we expect 16 more years’ worth of photography? “I will continue to document the changes as long as I can carry a camera,” he says.


Kaffe 1668 is at 275 Greenwich (bet. Warren and Murray), 212-693-3750, kaffe1668.com. The exhibit runs through February 1, and there’s an opening reception on Sunday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.



  1. i want to thank those who braved the snow and cold weather to attend my opening. The show is up. For those of you who couldn’t make the opening , the images will be up until February 15th. Plus there maybe another opening reception scheduled for mid-January. Let’s hope the weather will cooperate.

    Thanks again everyone….
    Happy Holidays,


  2. Jose,

    Happy New Year! Your photos are lovely. What film are you shooting these days? Are the colors enhanced in Photoshop?