Nat Finkelstein - A Tale of One City

Einar Moos

(1933 - 2009)

Nat Finkelstein


Nat comes off the plane from New York in a rotten mood, his flight was the worst ever since he climbed aboard in Katanga and the door of the plane was locked with a wire; it came off in mid air, and then the seats came off as the plane came down and he was smelling of cow dung when they landed somewhere to unload their passengers like cattle; their airline was a cattle transport.

But after a couple of glasses of rum coke he brightens up, after all he's guest of honor in this show at the Gordon Pym & Fils gallery, in Saint Germain des prés and here you can smoke outside without getting arrested.

A Tale of One City, as he calls it, a show of photographs of New York underground '64-68, is historic: the prints were done in Paris by Picto, and are stark beautiful black and white. Nat was reporter of this "flashpoint" in the history of the USA, with icon the quickly rising star Andy Warhol and his groupies.

But this show is not so much about the people within this movement than just photography - black and white photography at its best. Memorable are those photographs of The Velvet Underground & Nico... and hear their music as you watch...  

The vernissage gives the feeling of another "flashpoint" happening here in Paris 40 some years later. Amongst who come in to have a drink and discuss art, are, of course, artists and photographers. And as the dust of history settles the stars of our future rise above the horizon of Saint Germain des près.