LA NY is a dazzling visual tale of two cities, Los Angeles and New York, photographed from the air, shooting straight down to emphasize the particular patterns of place and how the urban grid adapts to local topography and, indeed, how the topography is itself adapted to human purposes. These two most distinct and distinguished cities are revealed in astonishing detail, as Milstein explores residential and commercial neighbourhoods, parks and recreation sites, as well as industrial districts and the infrastructure of transportation. Iconic buildings and landmarks appear, but also the compelling geometries of suburban housing developments, apartment complexes, commercial hubs, entertainment and financial centres, as well as airports and shipping terminals.
Using the highest resolution cameras available mounted to a stabilizing gyro, Milstein leans out of helicopters and does steep circles in small airplanes over Los Angeles where he grew up and over New York where he now lives, looking for shapes and patterns of culture from above, continually awed by the difference between the aerial view and the view on the ground. His topologist’s interest emphasizes the abstraction of pattern and reveals aspects of urban design and planning of both cities; at the same time, he offers an intensification of detail, an abundance of information. However high up the vantage point, he composes his images so that the viewer is still vividly aware of the human scale. Milstein combines architecture, science and art in this stunning dual aerial portrait of Los Angeles and New York. In an intriguing proposition of compare and contrast from a bird’s eye point of view, Jeffrey Milstein brings a fascinating new vision to aerial photography.