Roy Colmer

England / Usa / 1935 - 2014 / /
Roy Colmer (painter, graphic designer, video and film artist, and photographer), creator of the seminal 1976 project Doors, NYC, died at his home in Los Angeles on January 24, 2014.

From Nov. 1975 to Sept. 1976, Colmer photographed more than 3,000 doors, inclusive and in sequence, on 120 intersections and streets of Manhattan from Wall Street to Fort Washington. The project, although documentary in nature, was essentially conceptual to Colmer, for whom Doors, NYC was as much an exploration of the serial possibilities of photography as of its ability to capture a place. Rather than approaching the task in a predetermined order, Colmer instead photographed the city as he moved through it on a daily basis, from one neighborhood to another, and from one block to the next. He recorded his itinerary in a 12-volume index, which maps the photographs by intersection, block, and side of the street (even or odd numbers). The physical collection is organized according to these indexes.

...Colmer’s project has more to do with the individual creation of urban space over time, and the presentation of that space through photography.... In this sense, it is also very much a product of its time and, as an individual testament of the city from a specific moment in history, the project now inevitably evokes a nostalgic vision of New York in the 1970s....

Born in London, England, in 1935, Roy Colmer received his artistic training at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Hamburg and immigrated to NY in 1966. He worked first as a painter before turning to film and photography in the 1970s ... (

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Suzan Hamer


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