WHEN WILLIAM LE BARON JENNEY SAW HOW EASILY A SMALL STEEL BIRDCAGE COULD CARRY THE HEAVY BOOK HIS WIFE HAD PLACES THERE, HE CAME TO THE DARING IDEA OF CONSTRUCTING A BUILDING OF BRICK SUPPORTED BY AN IRON SKELETON. THIS BUILDING BUILT IN 1885 WOULD BECOME KNOWN AS THE VERY FIRST SKYSCRAPER THAT WENT UP ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD. THE CITY WAS CHICAGO, BUT VERY SOON IT WOULD BE NEW YORK TO CLAIM THE STEEL-FRAMED HIGH-RISE AS ITS OWN.
New York City has 242 skyscrapers. It isn’t the city with the most, but it certainly is the city with the oldest and the most variety. Since buildings went up since early 20th century in New York, the result today is a big mix of architecture. From early century art deco to 1970’s bling buildings and 21st century futuristic designs. You find it all in the Big Apple. And since most of it is built on the rather small island of Manhattan, one can truly say New York is a concrete jungle.
The variety in high rise architecture that can be seen in New York is an excellent representation of what this city is all about. A big melting pot of styles, cultures, influences and origins. The city was founded on diversity and seems to be welcoming and embracing whoever wants to call this place home. In fact, to fit into a place that doesn’t care about where you’re from or how you look, in other words being different, that is what New York is all about. Michael Davis is a perfect example of it. His ethnic background of being a blue-eyed Jewish-Pakistani is a story most New Yorkers can relate to, no matter what mixture origins one might have. Being a New Yorker is being original. Michael knows this. And so does photogrpaher Sam de Vries.
Walking the streets of Manhattan, this typical New York diversity is something you discover immediately. But what is even more impressive is to climb upon a rooftop and take a view from above. There, high above the craziness of the streets, you find a whole different city. Rooftops at different levels, allowing you to look down on other rooftops, or up at neighboring towers. There, hallway up to the sky one can really appreciate the concrete jungle New York is, especially when you’re lucky enough to observe a spectacular sunset. Photographer/model Sam de Vries knows exactly the right spots to expereince that sensation. And so it is only logical that he brought Michael Davis there, to one of those flat rooftops that offers a view of a city in the sky.
The timing was just perfect. A glorious sunset that set neighbouring buildings ablaze, as if they were made of pure gold. It gives a perfect sensation of the concrete jungle vibe, especially when used as backdrop for shooting a man as sexy and rugged as Michael Davis. Together they form a perfect balance, the city and its people in harmony, that almost makes you truly feel the city’s never ending dynamic – yes, electricity – just by looking at these photographs. A city is all its majestic grandeur, and a man who is unique, confident and in control. –BM-
SAM DE VRIES | BEAUTIFULMAG
MICHAEL DAVIS | BEAUTIFULMAG