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Times Square, New York City, 2024. (Photo credit Xiomaro)

National Park Artist To Author Photo Book On New York City

Xiomaro (Photos courtesy of Xiomaro)

Roslyn Heights resident Xiomaro, best known for his photography of Long Island’s National Parks, has signed a contract with Fonthill Media, a leading publisher in England. Under the worldwide agreement, the artist will author a book focusing on his photographs further west and familiar to commuters – New York City. Xiomaro’s book will spearhead the publisher’s new series “Photographer’s America,” and will be part of the artist’s international ramp-up to the nation’s 250th anniversary celebration in 2026.

While known internationally for his photographs, the creative path was not Xiomaro’s initial direction in life. “I was a lawyer at the time… for creative folks, to help make their vision come to life. But I didn’t think that kind of thing was something I could do.” But a cancer diagnosis put things into a new perspective. “[The diagnosis] really forced me to think about mortality and how long we really have to experience things in life.”

While now cancer-free, his life-saving surgery and years of subsequent medical caution gave something to Xiomaro he did not know he needed — the chance to slow down. And once he did, the artist found he did not want to go back to his prior speed, and rather enjoyed the ability to look around and take in the little things all around him. He found photography through his desire to be present and one with the world. And what’s more — other people were interested in his work! “I set up a table of photographs I had taken,” he recalled fondly, “Just to see what would happen. Turned out, people really liked the pictures, and wanted to buy them!”

The use of black-and-white and a carefully constructed composition presents a gritty and mysterious portrait.

Over the past 13 years, the National Park Service has commissioned Xiomaro to create fine art photographic collections. His work has been covered by The New York Times, Fine Art Connoisseur magazine, PBS, News 12, and of course The Roslyn News. On Long Island, Xiomaro has photographed the High Dune Wilderness and the William Floyd estate — both at Fire Island National Seashore — as well as Sagamore Hill National Historic Site, which is the home and “Summer White House” of President Theodore Roosevelt. The artist’s images have been exhibited at Long Island Museum, Nassau County Executive and Legislative Building, Patchogue Ferry Terminal, and Oyster Bay Historical Society.

In 2015, the artist began to experiment with street photography, capturing his daily commute from Roslyn Heights to Manhattan as both a challenge to his skill set, as well as a way to support himself between commissions. The shift was quite a pivot from his National Park work. “When I’m taking pictures for a historical society or a park, the scene is already set up. Nothing moves. I usually am using a tripod to keep the cameras as steady as possible, and I use a wide lens. In street photography, you have to anticipate the movement around you, sense when something might happen, and have the quickness to translate that feeling into capturing the image.”

The very best of his work will comprise his book for Fonthill Media. By focusing his collection on candid and artistic portrayals of Big Apple life during the first quarter of the 21st century, the book will capture contemporary times, portraying what Xiomaro terms “future history.”

“Think of it as a photographic time capsule,” adds Xiomaro, which he explains will set the book apart from others featuring mid-century street photography or staged street portraits accompanied by interviews that provide viewers with less to engage their imagination. “I’m putting together a book that appeals to a broad readership, including lovers of visual art and history, as well as travelers and casual smartphone photographers.” Information about the artist’s work is posted on his website, www.xiomaro.com.

Times Square, New York City, 2024. (Photo credit Xiomaro)

The book will feature approximately 160 color and black-and-white images capturing the essence of New York City’s streets. Xiomaro’s perspective delves beyond iconic landmarks, focusing on the daily lives and diverse interactions within Manhattan’s cramped 23 square miles. “As Long Island commuters know, New York City’s Broadway, Rockefeller Center, and Times Square are among the icons drawing visitors across the U.S. and around the world – but for me, the real attraction is the evocative mash-up of people who live, work, and play within its gritty streets,” said Xiomaro. The collection offers a glimpse into the rich diversity of daily life, showcasing a variety of scenes from ordinary moments to mysterious and enigmatic scenarios. The photographs, all unstaged and free of AI manipulations, freeze the dynamic human condition for examination in ways that cannot be appreciated within the city’s real-time chaotic energy.

A majority of Xiomaro’s work — both his National Park work as well as his street photography — aims to showcase the local beauty of New York City, and Long Island. His hope with his book is to, above all, emphasize how wonderful sites are closer than you might think. “Around here, these places are considered ‘destination locations’. You have to drive to them, they don’t get a lot of walk-by traffic,” he explained. “But I wanted to showcase with this book, and my photos, that you really don’t have to travel far to experience these beautiful, special places. They’re in your own backyard.”

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