George Forss, 80, Photographer Discovered on the Street, Dies

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In the 1980s, a street photographer named George Forss was selling his black-and-white pictures of the Empire State Building and Central Park to tourists for $5 a pop. Like so many of New York’s sidewalk peddlers, he was just trying to make a buck. But his images stood apart from the typical fare.

As he saw it, New York was the Emerald City, and his cityscapes portrayed a luminous and majestic metropolis.

In framing the Brooklyn Bridge’s grandeur, he captured the masses who trudge across it daily. As fog crept over New York Harbor, he photographed the Statue of Liberty seemingly trying to peer through the mist, awaiting another ship of immigrants. And in what became his best-known picture, he snapped the Queen Elizabeth 2 gliding past the twin towers of the World Trade Center beneath a dark, ominous-looking sky.

He died at 80 on July 17 at his home in Cambridge, N.Y., near the Vermont border. His representative, Phyllis Wrynn, director of the Park Slope Gallery in Brooklyn, said the cause was heart failure.

Mr. Forss purchased his first camera from a pawnshop on Eighth Avenue in Manhattan and later mastered the craft of building his own cameras from old parts. Working as a bike messenger, he trained his lens on New York as he pedaled across the city, and before long he started selling his prints.

With his modest profits he supported his invalid mother in the dilapidated frame house they shared in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, where he had built a darkroom. An early portrait subject was his one-eyed cat, Bingo.

Author: desi123 is an online news portal that aims to provide the latest trendy news for Asians living in Asia and around the World.

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