Matt Ducklo


A lot of my business in New York City is done in the area around 23rd Street and Sixth Avenue. I buy film on 18th Street and have it processed on 22nd Street; I rent equipment on 21st, and I print on 27th. I began to notice a lot of blind people in the neighborhood before I realized that Associated Blind Housing is located on 23rd between Sixth and Seventh avenues. I don't recall ever encountering a blind person growing up in suburban Memphis. I wondered if Manhattan was probably the best place in the United States for a blind person to live in part because most of the city is on the grid and public transportation is common and accessible.

About the time I noticed Associated Blind, I was making pictures of local newscasters that were related to the sides of buses and the idea of looking for information. I began thinking of other kinds of ways to lead, and I found myself making pictures of seeing-eye dogs and their owners. In this picture, I am photographing the mezzo- soprano Laurie Rubin at MoMA. The sculpture is by Barnett Newman. He is best known for his paintings and is often credited with the quote "Sculpture is what you bump into when you back up to see a painting." That coincidence seems to make sense with my pictures, which describe looking through touching and put paintings in the background.