Man Sells Photos Of Neighbors In Glass-Clad Building For $6,200 A Pop

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Is it art or an invasion of privacy?

Some residents of a glass-clad TriBeCa building are unhappy and unwitting stars of photographs, taken in secret and now on public display in Chelsea.

The images captured intimate moments at home, like a man in his robe, on an iPad with a woman eating McDonald’s.

Another photo depicts a mom in her child’s bedroom, while another shows a man taking a nap on a couch.

As CBS 2’s Tony Aiello reported Thursday, residents of 475 Greenwich St., said they feel spied upon by a photographer who lives in the red brick building next door.

“It’s kind of shocking, and all I can say is just everybody’s pretty upset,” a resident told Aiello.

“A feeling of uneasiness to downright creepiness,” another resident added.

Arne Svenson took pictures of his neighbors through their windows without warning neighbors they were on candid camera.

His exhibit is titled “The Neighbors.”

The photographer is selling five editions of each photograph, most of them going for $6,200 each, Aiello reported.

Svenson has been quoted as saying of his neighbors, “there is no question of privacy…they are performing behind a transparent scrim on a stage of their own creation.”

Residents said the pictures on display are bad enough and they worry about what didn’t make the show.

“He could have taken a million photographs for all we know, of children and everything,” a concerned neighbor said.

A lawyer who lives in the building said the pictures don’t constitute a crime but they do raise some questions about decency.

“The members of my building want to feel neighborly and I feel like it’s more of an ethical issue and a neighborly issue,” Andrea Taetle told Aiello.

If nothing else, Aiello reported, the pictures prove people who live in glass buildings need good curtains.

Some residents of the building said they admire the art and don’t mind the photos, but others are looking at possibly filing a civil claim for invasion of privacy.

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