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Voyeuristic photos anger New York neighbors

AFP-JIJI

Residents of a New York City apartment building are up in arms over an exhibition of candid photographs one of their neighbors took of them without their knowledge or permission.

“The Neighbors,” a gallery show of the pictures surreptitiously taken by American photographer Arne Svenson, opened recently at the Julie Saul Gallery in Lower Manhattan.

The images were taken through the windows of Svenson’s apartment building in Lower Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood.

The shots show his neighbors in various candid poses — bending, kneeling, carrying children.

A press release on the gallery’s website said Svenson was intrigued by the idea of capturing “the daily activities of his downtown Manhattan neighbors as seen through his windows into theirs.”

Svenson “doesn’t photograph anything salacious or demeaning” and is “careful not to reveal identities,” the statement said.

But Svenson’s subjects strongly disagreed, saying his picture-taking violated their privacy.

Some said they also resented that he snapped pictures of them with their young children, making the intrusion into their lives even worse.

“This is about kids. If he’s waiting there for hours with his camera, who knows what kind of footage he has? I can recognize items from my daughter’s bedroom,” one mother told the New York Post.

The pictures are priced between $6,200 and $8,400, and some have already been sold.