Blue Root

by Mark Greenberg Issue: Spring 2018

Artist's Statement


I’ve always been interested in photographing tree roots.  I think one of my first assignments in my Photography 1 course at CCNY was to take pictures of them.  Since then, I’ve found it’s an old photographic tradition.  My favorites are shots of tree roots by Atget, Weston, and Minor White.  But there is a special poignancy when only the root remains along with a single intense blue paint mark to show where a tree once made its stand against the harsh exigencies of survival in New York City.  I’m not exactly certain what the blue mark indicates—probably that it was slated for removal and hopefully an indicator for the type of tree to be replanted at that location on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

Mark Greenberg


Mark Greenberg was a 1968 fellow at George Eastman House where he studied with Nathan Lyons and for a few afternoons with Beaumont Newhall. He also studied portraiture with Philippe Halsman and 'people photography' with Ruth Orkin. He has been in many group shows over the decades and had several of his own shows. He lives in an exotic place known as The Bronx and is working on a book of stories and pictures called Notes on The Bronx.