Clayton Patterson Kisses for New York Times Magazine

Posted on: June 7th, 2018 at 5:06 am by

Photo: Ryan McGinley for the New York Times

Prolific Lower East Side documentarian Clayton Patterson and wife Elsa Rensaa are together on the front page of the New York Times Magazine this week. Smooching. The cover is one of 24 unique takes for the occasion, in which couples kissed during a 24-hour period back in mid-May.

Photographer Ryan McGinley captured the images.

Patterson and Rensaa have been together for 46 years, and still reside on Essex Street (i.e. the Outlaw Art Museum).

“I thought there was too much salt and vinegar in my veins to get something romantic like this,” Patterson quipped in an email.

Below is an excerpt from the lifestyle piece:

This special issue of The New York Times Magazine is dedicated entirely to love in New York City over the course of a single day: Saturday, May 19, 2018. All the photography was shot on that date between 12 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. By choosing this theme and so tightly limiting the time frame, we hoped to convey the city’s magical density of intimacies, the way it juxtaposes (especially as the weather begins to warm) the private communion of one pair of lovers with the rollicking public energy of the bustling crowd — itself composed of numberless lovers communing privately amid the noise, all the center of their own universe.

The plan was to drive around and pick up couples in a truck, photographing them as the city rolled by.

As the day went on, couple after couple climbed aboard, were harnessed in and began to kiss. As McGinley snapped away and cheers went up from onlookers on the sidewalks, the couples responded by focusing even more intently on each other, staring into each other’s eyes, holding each other’s faces, as if, in a city of millions, there were no one else.

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