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The Arts Intel Report

A Cultural Compass
For the World Traveler
A Cultural Compass
For the World Traveler

Loft Law: Photographs by Joshua Charow

The painter Steve Silver in his Williamsburg loft.

Until June 29
262 Bowery, New York, NY 10012, United States

In the early 1980s, thousands of artists lived in the forgotten industrial spaces of New York: old garment factories in Soho, manufacturing centers in Tribeca, glass factories in Greenpoint. They were protected under Article 7-C of the Multiple Dwelling Law, known as the Loft Law, which offered rent stabilization to people living—or sometimes, squatting—in commercially-zoned spaces. Article 7-C allowed artists to work and live affordably in New York City. Today, only a few hundred artists remain in the protected spaces. Three years ago, the documentary filmmaker Joshua Charow began tracking down these last holdouts and documenting their disappearing way of life. The photos capture eccentric, light-filled lofts where art hangs on unfinished walls amid house plants and armchairs. And then there are the artists themselves, the musicians, painters, and sculptors who’ve transformed these spaces into homes. —Paulina Prosnitz

Photo: © Joshua Charow/courtesy the photographer and Westwood Gallery NYC

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July 11–12, 2024

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