Ben Orlansky

These are my eyes. This is my city. Welcome to New York.

Some of my photos lie. Or do they? I capture microseconds of humanity. Look at that old man laughing. It warms your heart and puts a smile on your face. Well, actually, he was just picking his teeth, but the results and effects of those little micromoments remain the same. I may lie through my photos, but those lies have effected me greatly, and I hope they do the same for you.

I love the explosion of green in the spring, and the glowing drops of rain falling in slow motion before they impale themselves and shatter on shining blades of grass. I love the colors and the laughter and the love in the air. But sometimes amidst all the brightness, I find myself missing the comfort that darkness brings. I miss the black naked branches gnarled around each other in ominous embrace. I miss the jagged figures they paint against snowy skies. I miss the rose encased in ice. I miss the darkness because I can hide in it - I can become it. I’ve always understood why animals embrace the night.

He builds glass castles in the sky - translucent, transparent wonders, reflecting themselves on themselves and through each other, sewn together with whispers of clouds. They shimmer, forming glass rainbows in the sky, wavering in the light, as if they might vanish from a whisper. All who witness stare open-mouthed, too stunned to even applaud. The architect, eyes shining as bright as his wonders, allows himself a small smile. He awakens one night, and his eyes seem to open for the very first time. He blinks as his hands go from muscular to withered and trembling in a mere moment. His vision is dim, yet things are now dreadfully clear, and he wonders how the styrofoam mountains of Chinese food containers lit only by a sickly yellow bulb got there. Everything here feels empty, old, and alone. He does not know where the door is. In desperation, he turns his eyes upward, but the heavens are as empty as they always were, and the stars look back at him reproachfully, reflections of a life spent in the sky.

I look at the sky, and I see blue. You lift your eyes and see the same, but I wonder, is your blue the same as mine? Perhaps my blue is your blood red, and your skies are always crimson. My pain may be your laughter. My sour, your sweet. My love, your hate. What do you feel when you feel love? I want to feel your taste, your sex, your hunger, your tears. Perhaps above all, I want to feel what you feel when you feel mine.