GYöRGY LöRINCZY – NEW YORK, NEW YORK
Formidable Mag would like to thank Alfonso Meléndez for access to his archive and library.
György Lörinczy took advantage of the Hungarian’s government decision to relax its rigorous laws on citizens traveling abroad in 1968. The result was his book New York, New York, which projected a manic exuberance running on pure energy.
Life in New York City and its boroughs has inspired the publication of an almost endless list of great photobooks, ranging from Jacob Riis’s How the Other Half Lives, 1890, a passionate charge against the poverty of slum life; Weege´s raw account of the Big Apple The Naked City, 1945; The Sweet FlyPaper of Life a collaboration by photographer Roy Decarava and poet Langston Hughes, 1955; Helen Levitt’s magical world of children playing in the streets and empty lots of Harlem in A Way of Seeing (1965); William Klein’s frantic Life is Good & Good for You in New York(1956); East 100th Street by Bruce Davidson, 1968; and Ken Schles’s Invisible City (1988), a moving portrait of the partying underbelly of the rowdy East Village of the 1980s.
Lörinczy’s perspective is less cynical than that of many home-grown photographers. He clearly has affinities with that of William Klein, but without the psychological tensions that underpin Klein’s more realistic vision of the city.
Even though most likely Lörinczy was not aware of the work of any of the Japanese photographers of the day, his book shares a similar radical feeling, akin to the totally spontaneous style of someone like Daido Moriyama, and the Provoke movement members.
Lörinczy’s style is rough, raw and uninhibited, his book is laid out in a dynamic cinematic style, using such devices as printing pages in tracing paper, or utilizing extreme grain, blur and solarization.
The latter renders his depiction of the city’s energies more rather hallucinatory feeling which along with his experimental approach to book edition, directly links Lörinczy work to the counter culture and the avant-garde art scene of the time.
A year after publishing New York, New York, in 1972, György Lörinczy emigrated through Germany to New York,
In New York György Lörinczy turned into painting with acrylic paint and experimenting with self-made emulsions on photo paper. In 1974-1976 he was the photo editor of Art-Rite magazine, his work appeared in Art in America and Union Seminary Quarterly.
In 1975 he participated in the Not Photography-Photography exhibition with Christo, Andy Warhol, and others. And in 1981 he had his first solo exhibition in New York. György Lörinczy died a month later at the age of 46.