Photography: Tales of the Naked City

Louis Faurer's intricate portraits of New York captured its vulnerability and its invincibility

If you want to know why New York City can survive anything you throw at it, one good place to start is the Louis Faurer retrospective at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts. In the 1940s and '50s, when Faurer roamed the streets with his 35-mm camera, New York was already a cyclotron for every human impulse. The saintly and the unsanitary spun around at high speed. In his pictures the city was a place of immigrant bustlers. Raw bloodlines howl from their faces. The streets were full of plump, sexy cars, carnal Fords and pontoon-fendered Buicks. By some reports Faurer...

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