Volume 78 / Number 2 - June 11 - 17, 2008
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since
1933


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Photos by John Ranard

Photographer’s work packed a hard punch of reality

Friends held an informal memorial for East Village photographer John Ranard at the Houston Street Center at 273 Bowery on Sunday afternoon. Ranard died May 14 from liver cancer at age 56. Friends remembered him for his joie de vivre, prodigious talent behind the camera, wry humor, stubborn individuality, riveting storytelling ability and, of course, the Indiana Jones hat he unfailingly always wore. Local documentarian Clayton Patterson expressed concern that Ranard’s thousands of local photos from the 1980s and early ’90s not be lost, calling them vitally important records of a key transitional era in East Village and Lower East Side history. Ranard’s family members said New York University’s Bobst Library has “put out feelers” about acquiring Ranard’s archives. Pat Ranard, his sister, said family members plan a more formal memorial in September. On this page are some of Ranard’s boxing photos from his handmade book “The Brutal Aesthetic.” On the opposite page are photos of his from Russia in the 1990s, including men at the racetrack, a dance scene at Solkoniki Park, Moscow, and an Orthodox church baptism.

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