‘New York City Up and Down’ — 4 decades through the lens of photojournalist Jean-Pierre Laffont

Renowned documentary photographer Jean-Pierre Laffont, transplanted from Paris to New York City since 1965, has squarely focused his camera on his new hometown. Organized into three parts (the City Never Sleeps, the Movers and Shakers, and the Mean Streets), “New York City Up and Down is an elegant, incisive and unexpected review of 40 years of exploration by one of the most revered documentarians working today.

Just as he explored the explosive, the calm, the social and the environment in his prize-winning book “Photographer’s Paradise,” Laffont has filled “New York City Up and Down” with the highs and lows of New York City life. It’s not a commentary on high-end versus low-end of lifestyles, but instead is a commentary on the ups and downs socially, politically and visually in the city he loves so much over the past 40 years.

This is a book not to be missed by anyone who has ever visited, would like to visit, has lived in or has any curiosity at all about the “real” New York City as seen through the eyes of a true visionary.

Jean-Pierre Laffont attended the School of Graphic Art in Vevey, Switzerland, where he received his master’s in photography, prior to serving in the French army during the Algerian War (for which he received an award for his humanitarian efforts). He is a founding member of the Gamma USA and Sygma Photo News agencies. For more than four decades, Laffont traveled the globe and created work that was published in the world’s leading news magazines, including Figaro, London Sunday Times, Newsweek, Paris Match, Stern and Time. Among the numerous awards Laffont has received are the Overseas Press Club of America’s Madeline Dane Ross Award, the World Press Photo General Picture Award, University of Missouri’s World Understanding Award and an award from the New York Newspaper Guild. In 1996 he was honored with the National French Order of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres (a Knight in the National French Order of Arts and Letters). He resides in New York City with his wife and editor, Eliane. (Glitterati)

New York City Up and Down,” photographs by Jean-Pierre Laffont, introduction by Joan Juliet Buck, with an afterword by Eliane Laffont, will be available in August at glitteratiincorporated.com.

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Manhattan, Summer 1965

Riverside Park and 81st Street. Sophie and Elyzabeth Markevitch look through the gate at a train passing under Riverside Park. (Photo: “New York City Up and Down” by Jean-Pierre Laffont, copyright © 2017, published by Glitterati Inc. https://glitteratiincorporated.com)

Manhattan, October 1966

French singer Gilbert Bécaud jumps with arms outstretched near the Empire State Building in New York.(Photo: “New York City Up and Down” by Jean-Pierre Laffont, copyright © 2017, published by Glitterati Inc. https://glitteratiincorporated.com)

Manhattan, 1969

The cast of the rock musical “Hair” during a free performance in New York’s Central Park to mark the one year anniversary of its Broadway debut on April 27, 1969. The musical celebrated hippies living in the Age of Aquarius and several of its songs became anti-Vietnam War anthems. (Photo: “New York City Up and Down” by Jean-Pierre Laffont, copyright © 2017, published by Glitterati Inc. https://glitteratiincorporated.com)

Brooklyn, August 1971

Bankrupt owners abandon buildings full of furniture, leaving a perfect playground for the city’s youth. The long, hot summer of August 1971 exacerbated tensions in the black ghetto. Poor housing, tear down or burned building, poverty, unemployment and crime did not facilitate the poor inhabitants during the heatwave. (Photo: “New York City Up and Down” by Jean-Pierre Laffont, copyright © 2017, published by Glitterati Inc. https://glitteratiincorporated.com)

Lower East Side, Manhattan, April 1973

New York City firefighters in action. In the early 1970s, the city experienced 250 serious fires a day. The Fire Department of the City of New York has served the city since 1865.(Photo: “New York City Up and Down” by Jean-Pierre Laffont, copyright © 2017, published by Glitterati Inc. https://glitteratiincorporated.com)

St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Manhattan, Oct. 2, 1979

Pope John Paul II’s first visit to New York City. He spoke at the United Nations General Assembly, asked for nuclear disarmament, and celebrated a Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. A massive crowd joined Pope John Paul II at the cathedral both inside and out on his visit. (Photo: “New York City Up and Down” by Jean-Pierre Laffont, copyright © 2017, published by Glitterati Inc. https://glitteratiincorporated.com)

Manhattan, 1980

Central Park is closed from 1 to 6 a.m., and it is not too smart to walk alone in this gigantic deserted place at night. That being said, it is without any doubt one of the most beautiful parks in the world. (Photo: “New York City Up and Down” by Jean-Pierre Laffont, copyright © 2017, published by Glitterati Inc. https://glitteratiincorporated.com)

Manhattan, September 1981

Robin Williams debuts as a street performer in front of the Metropolitan Museum. (Photo: “New York City Up and Down” by Jean-Pierre Laffont, copyright © 2017, published by Glitterati Inc. https://glitteratiincorporated.com)

Brooklyn, Summer 1966

Jean-Pierre Laffont shares his cameras with the children from Bedford-Stuyvesant. (Photo: “New York City Up and Down” by Jean-Pierre Laffont, copyright © 2017, published by Glitterati Inc. https://glitteratiincorporated.com)

Jean-Pierre Laffont

Portrait of Jean-Pierre Laffont. (Photograph by S. Matamoros, “New York City Up and Down” by Jean-Pierre Laffont, copyright © 2017, published by Glitterati Inc. www.GlitteratiIncorporated.com)

Book cover

Book cover of “New York City Up and Down.” (Photo: “New York City Up and Down” by Jean-Pierre Laffont, copyright © 2017, published by Glitterati Inc. https://glitteratiincorporated.com)