It’s always exciting to hear about an artist making it big, particularly if that artist is in their 60’s, has never had a manager or agent, and has stayed true to their art form. Such is the case of New York City artist, Cynthia Karalla, who was recently commissioned to create a series of 17 photographs for the new luxury condominium project on the Upper East Side, 1289 Lexington.
Each of the 17 images are completely unique in their representation of iconic Manhattan views. Seeing the images, one is amazed by the bold hues in purple, orange, and pink. The images take well known scenes to another level. This is not your average photograph of a New York City skyline, but the perfect blend of artistry that merges the Zeckendorf Development style of classic prewar details with the latest methods of new construction. It’s a sense of being eclectic, yet with a visual that has become so familiar.
Karalla’s work has been celebrated at well-known institutions including the MOMA, Cooper-Hewitt Museum, and the New York Public Library. Internationally, her collection is owned by Yokohama Museum, Tokyo, Japan; Daniel Katz, London, U.K.; Jasmine Kassulke, Australia, among many others.
Normally, Karalla only shoots in film, but for this project she used digital. First, she shot in color and then transferred the image to black and white. Karalla started the project by shooting scenes in Central Park using a D850 camera and 135 mm Zeiss lens. Shots include the reservoir, Loeb Boathouse, Belvedere Castle, gardens, and the Metropolitan Museum. Her work is best known for her ability to showcase negatives that appear as positives. Her goal is to shift the perception of the things that happen in life.
Karalla’s work is best known for being eclectic and having a range of diverse theme. Examples include close-ups of colored poppies shot in southern Italy, political pieces like the giant flowers made from copies of the Mueller report, and bleached black and white landscapes. The Central Park theme commissioned for 1289 Lexington seems to be another good fit to her list of projects. The refined residence is known for its amenities including a magnificent outdoor space with stunning views of Manhattan.
Two weeks ago, Artie Zeckendorf, the developer of 1289 Lexington, hosted an intimate gathering that was attended by industry veterans and notables in the art and real estate communities. Seven rooms were set up, each with a different project of Karalla’s work. It was Zeckendorf’s way of bringing greater attention to Karalla’s work.
This is the first-time new art has been commissioned by the Zeckendorf family who are art collectors and have frequently purchased pieces to feature in their buildings.