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Darkness Visible: Blind Photog Peter Eckert Shows In NYC

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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SHUTTERBUDS Eckert, dog Clancey A blind man and his dog walk into a Meatpacking district art gallery...

So begins what might be a tremendously off-color joke, and so began photographer Pete Eckert's show at the Leo Kesting Gallery in Manhattan Thursday night. Eckert went completely blind 25 years ago. Now he's transmitting his eerie, multi-exposure shots on the walls and streets of Chelsea, Dumbo, and Williamsburg, as the winner of an open-call for emerging photographers hosted by "Artists Wanted", the Brooklyn-based arts organization. (Believe it or not, three blind photographers submitted their work for consideration.)

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How exactly does a blind man take a photograph? With a lot of outside input. While for many artists the need for validation and outside affirmation may be unspoken, or even an embarrassment, Eckert relies on his viewers to tell him what his prints look like, and the feelings they evoke. ("Do you like the black and whites or the colors?" he asked Radar, and several others.) More pointedly, he explained: "I'm in the dark, in a room. And youre' in another room. I'm slipping photos under the door to you and asking, 'What do you think? What do you think?'"

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