Artworks and Artists
Camera Obscura Image of Times Square, New York

Camera Obscura Image of Times Square, New York,
1997, printed 1998
Morell, Abelardo
gelatin silver print
111.8 x 92.7 cm; image: 100.1 x 81.2 cm


In 1997, Morell participated in “Assignment: Times Square.” The New York Times invited photographers to record renovations to the area, through their own eyes. Morell’s response was to transform a hotel room into a camera obscura. He covered all the openings in the room with black plastic, to block out the light. Then he made a 3/8” hole on one window. The light rays entering the room through the hole created a stunning image of the view outside, upside down and backwards. The ceiling and walls of the room are filled with ads for Coke and Broadway shows. Morell photographed the scene using a view camera on a tripod, in the room. Because the exposure took more than eight hours, movement was not recorded. The streets of Morell’s Times Square are eerily quiet.