New York City during the 1980s was an entirely different kind of city than it is today. In his collection of work, street photographer Richard Sandler spent much of the decade capturing the urban grit found along the busy sidewalks, bustling street corners, and crowded subway trains throughout the city.
Through his lens, Sandler captured a range of emotions, from the energy and life of the metropolis to the isolation that a single person could feel even when surrounded by hundreds of people. Sandler chose to shoot mainly with film, which added a bit of grain to the grit of the graffiti-covered walls, the homeless men and women, the political conventions, and the everyday life of New York residents and visitors.
His black and white images are filled with a colorful portrayal of an immensely diverse city with a broad range of styles, cultures, and trends that are characteristic of NYC’s charm. “You are recording your time. You are looking for trends,” says Sandler. “If you are in the street, you see it. You see everything on the street.”