Georg Gatsas first visited our gallery at 35 Saint James Place in lower Manhattan soon after we moved in. When we met we discussed his practice and I was compelled to share with him what I was learning about the history of the neighborhood in which the gallery is located. This led him to a six month long undertaking which he eventually titled Five Points.

My interest in the history of lower Manhattan was inevitable because remnants of the beginnings of modern New York are evident at every turn. Despite having grown up in the city, I had somehow never been situated in a neighborhood where history was so apparent. Through this newfound interest I compiled a small library, and one book stood out as something that might interest Georg Gatsas, who was a curious Swiss artist new to the Chinatown area at that time.

He quickly connected the dots.

He realized that this very neighborhood was one of the last refuges for artists "downtown". His project to document artists in the neighboorhoods surrounding the gallery was prescient because of its ability to place itself within the neighborhood's history, as well as the history of how it is documented. Gatsas' New York creates a trajectory of images going as far back as Jacob Riis' How the other half lives, whose photographs of the blight of this neighborhood (made possible) by the invention of flash photography) prompted city officials to tear down most of the Five Points between 1885 and 1895.

What makes Georg Gatsas' work particularly significant is that it is a historical document. This approach puts the art back into artifact. Now we are looking at his images much in the way others must have looked at images of people in the same places over one hundred years ago. I enjoy imagining someone like Georg Gatsas in one hundred years looking at the book you are reading now, I wonder what they might have to say or might be able to learn about these places, people and things.

James Fuentes, New York City, October 2009


American Flag, Five Points, 2007, Georg Gatsas, photography,

American Flag, 2007, RC print on aluminum, 35" x 53"

Apples and Cardboard Box, 2007, RC print on aluminum, 35" x 24"

Five Points, Empty Birdhouse,

Empty Birdhouse, 2007, RC print on aluminum, 35" x 24"

Lizzi, Five Points,

Lizzi, 2006, RC print on aluminum, 35" x 24"

Hoop, 2007, RC print on aluminum, 35" x 24"

Chinese Ceremony, Five Points,

Chinese Ceremony, 2007, RC print on aluminum, 24" x 35"

Cat On A Chair, Five Points,

Cat On A Chair, 2007, RC print on aluminum, 24" x 35"

Tiger Doll In The Tree, 2007,

Tiger Doll In The Tree, 2007, RC print on aluminum, 35" x 24"

Sensational, Five Points,

Sensational, 2007, RC print on aluminum, 35" x 24"

Chinese New Year Ornament, 2007, RC print on aluminum, 24" x 35"

Pallets, Five Points,

Pallets, RC print on aluminum, 35" x 24"

Spencer Sweeney, 2007, RC print on aluminum, 24" x 35"

Parking Lot Cabin, Five Points,

Parking Lot Cabin, 2007, RC print on aluminum, 35" x 53"

Shopping Cart, 2007, RC print on aluminum, 35" x 24"

Mick Barr, Five Points,

Mick Barr, 2007, RC print on aluminum, 35" x 53"

Agathe Snow, 2007, Five Points,

Agathe Snow, 2007, RC print on aluminum, 35" x 53"

Joey, The Locust, Five Points,

Joey (The Locust), 2004, RC print on aluminum, 35" x 53"

Marty Rev, Five Points,

Marty Rev, 2005, RC print on aluminum, 24" x 35"

Street, Five Points,

Street, 2007, RC print on aluminum, 35" x 53"

Sign, C-print, Five Points,

Sign, 2007, RC print on aluminum, 35" x 24"

Manhole Cover, 2007, RC print on aluminum, 24" x 35"

Truck, Five Points,

Truck, 2007, RC print on aluminum, 35" x 53"

Manhattan Bridge II, 2007, RC print on aluminum, 53" x 35"

Scaffolding And Pipe, 2007, RC print on aluminum, 35" x 53"

Raindrops, Five Points,

Raindrops, 2007, RC print on aluminum, 35" x 24"

Rita Ackermann, Five Points,

Rita Ackermann, 2007, RC print on aluminum, 35" x 53"

Kria Brekkan and Dave Portner, 2007, RC print on aluminum, 24" x 35"

Dave and Kria's Lamp, 2007, C-print on aluminum, 24" x 35"

Brian DeGraw's Wall, 2007, Ilfochrome print on aluminum, 35" x 24"

Brian DeGraw, 2007, Ilfochrome print on aluminum, 24" x 35"

Tom Jarmusch, Stove, Five Points,

Tom Jarmusch's Stove, 2007, Ilfochrome print on aluminum, 24" x 35"

Tom Jarmusch, 2007, Ilfochrome print on aluminum, 24" x 35"

Tom Jarmusch's Fish Tank, 2007, Ilfochrome print on aluminum, 24" x 35"

Tom Jarmusch's Cat, 2007, Ilfochrome print on aluminum, 35" x 24"

Forsyth Street, 2007, C-print on aluminum, 35" x 53"

Gang Gang Dance/Lizzi I, 2007, C-print on aluminum, 35" x 53"

Sunflower On Eldridge Street, 2007, C-print on aluminum, 35" x 24"

Three Buddhas, 2007, C-print on aluminum, 35" x 24"

Manhattan Bridge Arch, Five Points,

Manhattan Bridge Arch, 2007, RC print on aluminum, 53" x 35"

Bridges, 2007, RC print on aluminum, 53" x 35"

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