Paul Margolis Photography


September 11, 2001 and Beyond

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Aftermath: My office was four blocks away from the site of the World Trade Center. On September 11, 2001, I was on Broadway photographing the two towers in flames and the horror-stricken crowd in the street.  In the days after the attacks, I photographed the spontaneous outpouring of emotion: posters of the missing all over town, the memorials in Union Square Park, the candlelight vigils.  I also documented the other changes that have occurred near Ground Zero and in the city as a whole, as well as the anti-war and other political activities that occurred in the wake of September 11th.


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World Trade Center Logos Project:  For the year after 9/11, I became obsessed with photographing images of the World Trade Center. Probably it was my way of dealing with the trauma of having seen them burn and collapse from a few blocks away. In the weeks and months after 9/11, I began to realize how much the WTC had been used as part of advertising logos in NYC.  Before 9/11, I hadn’t paid much attention to their use as commercial logos, but now that they were gone, I kept seeing them and was haunted by how much they had been a part of the commercial and social landscape.  Logos with the Towers appeared on trucks, on shop awnings, on billboards and even on the Chock Full O’Nuts coffee can. I felt that eventually, with the passage of time and fading of memory, the logos would begin to disappear, so I photographed them whenever I saw them.  Just before the fifth anniversary of 9/11, the Brooklyn Arts Council requested images of the World Trade Center to be included in a memorial exhibition entitled “Here Was New York.” Some 30 of my World Trade Center logo images were included in that show, which was held at a dozen venues in Brooklyn.

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