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Todd Fisher
Photography Todd Fisher

The photographer mourning the loss of dirty NYC

Todd Fisher shoots rubbish and discarded objects amongst the city’s snow-blanketed landscape

On the humble Christmas card, the snow-blanketed landscape is a beautiful cliche. To Byron, the snow was sublime. And last winter, to many New Yorkers, storm Jonas was what allowed them  to ski down 5th Avenue. But to Todd Fisher, the snow is not romantic, awe-inspiring or fun. “I really don’t like winter,” he explains. “I kind of dread it. Making work from it (makes it) a little more tolerable.”

Fisher’s photos of New York in winter show us slushy, dirty snow. Household objects, TVs, and chairs, have been chucked unlovingly onto the street. The home comforts look strange in their new, hostile setting.

This series has been a decade in the making. Through photography, Fisher preserves moments that would otherwise have long melted away: “The photo itself is the rescue,” he explains, “I always liked how temporary these scenes were. It’s often completely different the next time I pass by.”

But they are scenes that are becoming harder to come across, as corporate investment creeps over the city: “I used to take the long way home through the industrial areas and always find something interesting,” he says, “now it's all luxury residential buildings going up.”

Fisher mourns the loss of the rubbish and discarded objects that used to give him so much to photograph: “It seems like the streets and sidewalks are swept daily, even though much of the area is still under construction. New York is getting scrubbed squeaky clean.” It seems he had found his own way of romanticising the snow after all, with rubbish becoming his unlikely muse.

And now that the best objects have gone and the snow has melted, what does Fisher photograph? “Tulips” Fisher answers, surprisingly. “And rats.”

MTHM will be releasing a book of Fisher’s series soon