The present Eric, NYC, 1980 c-print is one of the precious photographic source material to Robert Longo’s iconic Men in the Cities drawings. The Men in the Cities series made Robert Longo famous in the early 1980’s: larger-than-life drawings of sharply dressed businesspeople writhing in contortion under the impact of an invisible, obviously violent power, a sort of death dance of the modern man.
He first appropriated images from magazines, newspapers, and movie stills. Later, he began to use his friends as models, most of the figures in the art world or in the arts in general. He would bring them up on the roof of his New York City loft, rig up ropes to them, throw rubber balls, rocks and other objects at them to make them jerk, fling or fall – and take their picture. Powerful icons that, as Longo said, "exist somewhere between movies and monuments".
“I know that people see these as stylistically Punk or New Wave, but at the time they were also viewed as Wall Street types. I was trying to transcend style but they were Downtown types, which to me was both CBGB's and Wall Street.„