David Attie’s Lost Photographs of Truman Capote in Brooklyn
In 1958, Truman Capote lived in Brooklyn. By choice. “Often a week passes without my “going to town,” or “crossing the bridge,” as neighbors call a trip to Manhattan,” he brags in Holiday magazine. “Mystified friends, suspecting provincial stagnation, inquire, “But what do you DO over there?””
Eli stumbled across the images much later. He was looking for pictures that his father had taken of celebrities after a prominent rock photographer told him: “You need more famous people. Gather any pictures your father took of famous people. That’s the only way anyone’s ever gonna care.” Eli hoped to enshrine something of his father’s legacy within the popular canon, so he took the advice. He went to visit his mother in New York, and started digging.
“One of the tensions that Attie captures is one of old versus new: developers, development, bulldozers, equipment,” says Ely. “There was a moment when those who lived there didn’t know what could happen. All these gorgeous gems could be brought down with hideous apartment buildings. There was no protection.”