EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES: COSIMO SCIANNA - GIVE NEW REGARDS TO BROADWAY

By (TK) Published on .

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After 30 years in the commercial photography and film game, Cosimo Scianna has his first book, just in time for the millennium. In fact, it's called Times Square: Celebrating the New Millennium, and it's available next month, from Madison Square Press. The $40 volume is a photo study of the post-porn era Times Square, bursting with neon exteriors -- the kind of closeup, detailed facade work that people don't usually notice. "It's a departure for me," says Cosimo, as he's known in the business. "I did this myself; I usually work with an entourage."

Cosimo, a Pratt Institute grad who started out as a fashion and effects photographer, made the transition from stills to directing in the '80s and opened his own production house, Cosimo & Company, a decade ago. He's a people, fashion and tabletop commercials director, but when it comes to his personal 35mm stills work, he takes a more meditative view. His show at the Walter Wickiser Gallery in New York earlier this year, called "Textures," featured Japanese design-influenced "found" images, mostly from nature. The photographs were digitized and sprayed onto large sheets of watercolor paper, which results in an almost pointillist look, as the catalog notes. "That was a labor of love," he says, and it may lead to a book as well.

The Times Square venture is more a labor of forward-thinking; Cosimo, a native New Yorker, claims he doesn't miss the old crusty Crossroads of the World at all. "It was kind of seedy," he chuckles. He finds the Disneyfied district "more interesting and invigorating. You've got to embrace the future." Indeed, "there have been so many new things going up in the area since I put the book together,

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