Portraits of a Pandemic
15 Cities Across the World
Review posted July 9, 2022.
Skyhorse Publishing, 2021. 366 pages.
Review written March 11, 2022, from a library book
This book is a large-format doorstop of a book full of large photographs. I read it at the library, looking at photos from a city or two each day, so I wouldn't have to carry it home and back.
The idea is simple: Photos of fifteen cities taken during the start of the pandemic, when those cities were more deserted than they will ever be again. It's striking to see the famous buildings and sites without crowds of people.
I think I will enjoy this book more in about ten years. Now it's almost painful to remember back when the world felt we were all in this together. There are many photos celebrating healthcare workers as heroes, and almost every person who does show up in the pictures is wearing a mask.
The cities featured are London, New York, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, Madrid, Miami, Paris, Chicago, Rio de Janeiro, Boston, Rome, San Francisco, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, and Washington, DC. The photos were taken by different photographers during the beginning of the pandemic and collected by the authors. They provide very little commentary, as the pictures speak for themselves.
This book is worth taking the time to look through and see what happens to our great cities when the people are pushed out of the picture.