In 1997, when Israeli photographer Natan Dvir (1972) first arrived to his new home city of New York, he was overwhelmed by the huge commercial advertisements that dominate the urban landscape. Larger than life, the billboards have become such an everyday part of the environment that the residents hardly notice them – at least on a conscious level. Dvir started to think about people’s relationship with the branded city centres and the commercial environment, and went about photographing the billboards on Fifth Avenue, 34th Street, Herald Square, Times Square and Soho.
The ads in Dvir’s images become strange and alluring in the context of the street and the people who walk by, dwarfed by their presence. A surreal aspect arises in the images from the juxtaposition of the street-level reality and the fantasies created and sold by the advertisements. The people are pulled into a stage set and, just as in reality, they are brought together with advertisements without their knowledge or permission.
Coming Soon will be exhibited as a part of Head On Photo Festival in Sydney, which runs until May 29 on St. George Street