Many of these images were made in Soho, Little Italy, Tribeca, Greenwich Village and the Lower East Side in a period of accelerated transformation in the early '80s.
At that time, these neighborhoods were a mixture of three distinct groups: the people who had lived and worked there for many years and had their ethnic background in common, the artists who came in search of affordable living and studio space, and finally the more well-to-do, who instigated the process of gentrification, with the seemingly inevitable exile of the original inhabitants.
It was a time when graffiti was an integral part of the landscape, and the clash of cultures created a cacophony of voices.
Based in New York City, Robert Herman is currently raising funds on Kickstarter to publish a book. His work has been displayed throughout the U.S. including New York City's Museum of Modern Art, and is in various permanent collections. More of his work can be found on fotovisura.
100 Words is a series in which photographers describe their work, in their own words. Curated by Graham Letorney