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Photographer Puts Manhattan Inside the Grand Canyon

Curators’ corner

Photographer Puts Manhattan Inside the Grand Canyon

Manhattan and the Grand Canyon – two places couldn’t be less alike.

Shortly after visiting and capturing the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, Swiss photographer Gus Petro found himself sitting on a cliff atop the mighty Grand Canyon in the dark of the night.

“We tried out our powerful spotlights but all light was just sucked up by the abyss,” Petro says. “I just sat there and waited, not knowing what to expect until dawn came.”

When the morning magic hour arrived, Petro got his shots – incredible landscape portraits of one of the world’s most majestic natural wonders.  As he continued on his way traveling, Petro found himself still thinking about the drastic contrast he experienced between New York and Arizona.

“This was something I felt a need to expose,” Petro says.

Petro’s inspiration led him to merge polar opposite landscapes by placing overly dense Manhattan in the vastly empty Grand Canyon. The series, aptly titled Empty, Dense, Merge, magnifies the sense of separation from the rest of the world that both locations harbor in their own way. On one end you have Manhattan, a 33-square mile island crammed with roughly 2 million people; and on the other end you have the Grand Canyon, nearly 2,000 square miles of emptiness.

While insanely steep cliffs (the New Jersey Palisades) actually do line Manhattan on one side, Petro’s images are incredibly surreal. Check out a few below and tell us what you think.

Photography by Gus Petro

Photography by Gus Petro

Photography by Gus Petro

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