A Manhattan judge has backed the right of artist Arne Svenson to photograph his neighbours through their windows,
according to The New York Post.
Last May, New Yorkers were outraged when Svenson’s images of people taken through their apartment windows were put on display in a Manhattan gallery.
Called “The Neighbours,” the photographs captured the people in the building across the street from Svenson’s Greenwich apartment going about their daily lives and doing mundane activities like eating breakfast and cleaning. No one was recognisable in the images.
Svenson’s large prints were put up for sale at Julie Saul Gallery in Chelsea, starting at $US7,500.
But residents of the glass-walled luxury residential building that Svenson had photographed never consented to being subjects for his works of art.
Needless to say, they were livid, especially two parents who realised their children had been photographed. The couple, Matthew and Martha Foster, sued Svenson and asked a Manhattan judge to bar him from showing or selling the images.
But on Monday, Judge Eileen Rakower ruled in Svenson’s favour and dismissed the case, according to The Post.
“The value of artistic expression outweighs any sale that stems from the published photos,” Rakower wrote in her decision.
The judge also said that the end of the gallery exhibition and Svenson’s promise to delete images of the photographs online were also factors in her ruling.
But sources told The Post that photos from the exhibit sold “briskly,” and that Harvard Business School now owns a shot of a woman in a green dress cleaning her floor.
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