Goings On About Town: Art

by Vince Alleti

Jill Freedman

The New Yorker


The black-and-white photographs from Freedman’s 1981 book, “Street Cops,” might be relics of another, wilder New York, but they’ve lost none of their grit and immediacy. Walking or riding with police in the precincts that covered Alphabet City and Times Square, Freedman witnessed bar fights, drug arrests, car accidents, and botched robberies. Channelling Weegee but adding the empathy he lacked, she doesn’t flinch from the decomposing body of a bathroom suicide or the terrified look of a boy being returned to the home he ran away from. It’s hard to believe this is the first time the work has been exhibited in New York; it’s never looked better. Through Oct. 29.