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New York Love Story - Interview with Karsten Staiger

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Short profile

  • SPECIALTIES: Fine Art, Portrait, Music and Documentary Photography

Like countless others before him, photographer, artist and filmmaker Karsten Staiger fell in love with New York City the moment he arrived. Born in Germany, Staiger launched his career at the forefront of the digital revolution when it first emerged in the 1990s, achieving success as an artist and commercial photographer for luxury brands and major corporations. With Staiger regularly retreating to the rooftops for creative refuge, his growing fascination with the City’s dynamic skyline would eventually evolve into a primary pursuit for discovering those hidden, unexplored angles of the city – views unseen from the street-level.

Already a master of complex lighting and technology, his obsession with the extreme juxtaposition between light, weather patterns and the textured cityscape revealed at dizzying heights ultimately led him to shift his lens towards the City. His accomplished body of work has attracted collaborations with notable New Yorkers, among them John Varvatos, Misty Copeland, and Living Colour.

Passion Project - New York Love Story

Karsten Staiger's passion project New York Love Story has spanned years: documenting the dreams and expressions of New Yorkers – from celebrities to ordinary men and women. He wanted to find out how each of them was connected to this unparalleled city and how it has affected them for the better. Under the spell of the beauty of the New York City skyline, Staiger the adventurer has since scaled more than 100 buildings and risked his life to capture the city's irresistible personality through photographs and film.

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Photo: Karsten Staiger

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Floater Frame (White Maple), Metallic ultraHD Photo Print under Acrylic Glass

What do you love about New York?

New York has so many flavors and seasons, and I've spent most of my life here. I have a love-hate relationship with New York, because most of the time it's cloudy and gray when I go out, but after a storm you can suddenly enjoy the most beautiful New York sky. 

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Photo: Karsten Staiger

How did the New York Love Story project come about and what inspired you?

The New York Love Story is a crazy idea that probably originated 20 years ago. I wanted to share my impressions of New York with the world and was wondering how I could do it. No one would be interested in seeing me on all these different skyscraper rooftops. What's the story behind it? So I started doing some interviews with other New Yorkers to learn more about the city and the personalities. So that's how it started. This personal feeling is the concept of what I'm documenting.

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Photo: Whitewall

How does it feel to stand with the camera on the roofs of skyscrapers in New York?

Fortunately, I had access to some of the tallest buildings in the city. Having this opportunity and this feeling of just opening the top door and climbing onto the roof is absolute freedom for me. You feel like you're all by yourself in your own big city with no one else. I wanted to share that feeling with the world and started documenting.

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Photo: Karsten Staiger

Why did you decide to have your works produced at WhiteWall?

When I was in Germany in 2013, I had my works produced at WhiteWall for the first time. This resulted in a great collaboration with the WhiteWall Store in Düsseldorf, as I had a lot of questions in the beginning. And then when I met up with WhiteWall again at the PhotoPlus Expo in New York, there was no question after that about who should continue to produce my work. I can always rely on the quality and the customer service. On top of that, for me 'Made in Germany' stands for a very special kind of premium quality.

Discover more product recommendations from Karsten Staiger
Acrylic ultraHD Metallic Print
  • Double resolution for your metallic photo

  • Bright parts of your photo have a metallic sheen under 1/16 in. (2 mm) of acrylic glass

Solid Wood ArtBox
  • 3D Effect

  • Easy to hang: All you need is two nails or screws (depending on the size)

  • Displayed on a gallery ledge: Elegant and impressive

Solid Wood Frame With Passe-Partout
  • A classic look: Directs focus to your photo

  • Choose from various frames and photo mat colours