From the gritty Bowery club CBGBs to the sleek high-tech Guitar Hotel, photographer Daniel Newcomb shoots images of both nostalgic American architecture sites and glam futuristic buildings.
His work will be showcased at The Peach in a show called Downtown Dreams opening on July 8th with 25 to 30 images on display. Displayed images will range from hand-printed darkroom silver gelatin print and archival inkjet imagined through 35 mm/120 film and digital photography.
Based in Jupiter, Florida, he specializes in architectural and interior design photography. He has been published around the world in major glossy magazines including Florida Design Magazine, Luxe, Traditional Home, Luxury Living Magazine, Interiors, Ask, Architectural Digest, Miami Home, Elle Decor Magazine, Naples Illustrated, Robb Report, and many more.
Daniel has been creating photographic images around the world ever since he received a camera and a hobby darkroom from his father when he was young. He earned a degree from the South East Center for Photographic Studies.
While gleaming expensive hotels and mansions are his day job, he has a love for historic buildings that will be in the upcoming show.
“I’ve always had a thing for historic architecture from the 30s,40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, you know, all the gorgeous old marquee signs and hotel signs and exteriors. Any of that kind of stuff that is slowly being stuccoed over.”
“I was raised in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Florida, and they have a pretty downtown, and back in the mid-90s, we used to go there. I was the kid skateboarding, and I was the kid taking photography classes in high school. So I always had a camera with me to shoot all the old buildings down there that were abandoned. And I guess that’s what started it all, you know, taking pictures of those old buildings. And as I went to college photography, I just fell into the niche of doing architectural shoots for builders, architects, and interior designers.”
Roadside hotels and Florida images take up much of the show. However, there are many striking shots of New York City’s long-gone CBGBs club and the historic, Gothic Chelsea Hotel on 23rd St.
“Every year I would go to a big photo conference in New York. I went there for probably 10 years in a row. Most of those were taken from 1992 to 1996. I would always call the local little zines and get assignments to shoot the bands who were playing at CBGBs. So I got a photo pass to go and I would photograph the bands. It was always around Halloween, and it was always this one Halloween band that would come through and I’d shoot ’em for the magazines.”
But after the photo conference and the band nights, Newcomb would go in search of historic New York.
“Every time in New York, we always stayed at the Chelsea, whether it was for work or pleasure, we always stayed there so I shot there a lot. I was literally hanging out the window of one of my hotel rooms one time to get the classic New York kind of image. It has a history of being a big artist and writer hangout.”
In addition to the New York photos, he scouts old Florida hotels, ones with old neon road signs.
The majority of them are in west Florida, in Tampa. If I don’t document them now, my kid will never be able to see them as they are taken away one at a time. I do some research. I’ve got my network of artists and friends. Every time they locate one, they give a call. ‘Hey, Dan I found a really cool sign. You’ll love it. You gotta go there. I marked it for you.’”
Another town he visited recently was San Francisco.
“I just traveled to see my best friend out in San Francisco two weeks ago. And he’s been living out there for about a year now. He bookmarked all the places he knew I’d love – great old hotel signs and bar signs. Even if it’s a luxury hotel, sometimes they’ll leave up those old marquees.”
His show will have a mix.
“It’s some Florida, some New York, some Chicago, some from Montana – all over the place. There will be 25 to 30, but I think I overprinted. But once you start, it’s fun to see your stuff off a computer screen. About 90% of the show will be film.”
His day job, shooting the Hard Rock Hotels, takes him all over the country. These immaculate shots are used to showcase the design and attractions of the large hotel chain for tourist bureaus and the hotel’s websites.
“I got lucky with that years ago and an interior designer hired me to shoot the Hard Rock in Biloxi, and then I met the powers that be, and it took off. 25 years now of photographing Hard Rocks all over the country. Guitar Hotel is an impressive building. It sure makes a statement.”
“Downtown Dreams” will be on display at The Peach, opening July 8th from 6-9 pm, and will be up for a month. Newcomb also has some photos at The Box Gallery in West Palm Beach.
For information on the exhibit, please visit www.thepeachwpb.com/events