Roy Lee NYC street photography on display

Liggett Studio will host the local photographer's solo exhibition, “42nd Street: Grime, Glamour, and Glory,” July 13-August 4.


Roy Lee


Roy Lee is not a by-the-book photographer. His style of photography relies very simply on a good eye and a nice walk down a busy street. Initially from Tulsa, Lee moved to New York in the late ‘80s and lived there through the ‘90s. Lee’s love for New York and its culture was born mere moments after arriving in the city, and he made a promise to himself that he would live there for at least part of his life.

When he finally found himself living in the East Village, Lee was able to immerse himself in the essence of what New York was, and in turn find inspiration in the most unlikely of places. “I just get out in the morning, start walking, and see what I see,” Lee says of his creative process. “There is always something there, no matter where you go, if you stand there for 10 minutes, you’re bound to see something or someone that is interesting to you.”

Even though Lee has since moved back to Tulsa, his love for the city still brings him back to New York once or twice a year.    

Roy Lee

Lee was the fly on the wall in the busiest city in the world during an era when parts of New York would be unrecognizable as the same areas today. Lee’s innate ability to capture moments that would otherwise have gone unnoticed has propelled him to various photo exhibits, from Oklahoma to Iran. While the photos speak for themselves, Lee is able to tap into the human condition in a way that resonates with those who see his photography, which in turn has made his work stand out.

An exhibit of Lee’s photography is set to open at Liggett Studio, located at 314 S. Kenosha Ave., starting on July 13-August 4. The exhibit is called “42nd Street: Grime, Glamour, and Glory,” and features Lee’s New York City street photography from 2014-2017. The exhibit will open this Friday, July 13 from 6-9 p.m., with the exhibit’s normal hours being Tuesday-Saturday, 1-5 p.m. and Thursdays, 1-9 p.m. Lee will be in the gallery during most working hours to answer questions and chat about his photos.


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