James & Karla Murray

An Urban History

With the increase of economic instability and financial insecurity, small independent shops have felt the full weight of consumer indifference and decreasing pocket money. As such, local storefronts are constantly chopping and changing, jumping from hairdressers to clothes boutiques, cafés to greengrocers in a matter of months. In an attempt to record the classic beauty of “old” shops permanently before they close or undergo renovation, James & Karla Murray photographed street after street of retail history in New York City. Central to the workings of a community, the artists found that the evolving shop windows transformed neighbourhoods dramatically, altering them both aesthetically and practically. Committed to urban documentation, the photographers have spent years directing their lens towards the cityscapes around them, finding character in graffiti, lights, buildings and architecture. The following images are taken from their New York Storefronts  series.