A new film by Oscilloscope Laboratories and Stephen Wilkes explores photographer Jay Maisel’s move from his iconic six-story bank building he called home for 49 years. The landmark structure at 190 Bowery in the East Village of New York was locally known as The Bank, and considered by many New Yorkers to be abandoned. Wilkes tells the story of Maisel's move and documents the incredible structure that has housed a collection of countless objects for half a century.
As Curbed New York reports, a 2008 New York Magazine profile began to tell the story of Maisel's iconic East Village bank, and in 2015 when the building was sold, Wilkes captured the evolution of the structure in the documentary, Jay Myself. The film gives a glimpse into Maisel's life as a photographer and his collection of objects, as well as a look into one of New York's most fabled buildings. As Wilkes said, “In many ways, The Bank was his greatest work of art. It had the most profound effect on almost anybody who physically went through it."
The 72-room bank building served as a home for Maisel and his family for 49 years, and the film captures the move through 35-truckloads worth of objects headed for the photographer's new Brooklyn townhouse. The film begins to paint a portrait of how the world looks through Maisel's eyes. In his own words, “Your life will be infinitely richer if you’re aware of the things around you."