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Tribeca neighbors outraged after peeping photographer shoots images through living room windows

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TRIBECA, New York (PIX11) – People who live in one Tribeca Building are outraged after learning a photographer who lives across the street has been taking their picture through his window. On top of that–they’re now up for sale in an area gallery.

Photographer Arne Svenson has been secretly shooting his neighbors for months from the second floor of 125 Watts street. The images are now on display at a Chelsea gallery.

The exhibition is called “The Neighbors,” and while the candids don’t show their faces, neighbors that live in the building are livid. They feel their private lives have been documented and displayed without their permission.
The manager of the building says most of the people in the photos found out they were being watched only after seeing themselves,  families and even their dogs online.

“Its unfortunate really the tenants found out online,” Manager Travis Kidd said. “He really should have gotten permission before he used them!”

The photos were shot through the large picture windows of the neighbor’s apartment building. They capture people in their private home doing private things. One woman is captured bending over and cleaning. Another features a man was tucking his children into bed. They’re now selling for thousands of dollars, and there’s nothing the people in the photos can do about it.

Experts say because the photographer didn’t show faces in these pictures it would be hard to press criminal charges.

The exhibition opened Saturday, and is getting plenty of media attention. If you check on Greenwich street today , most apartments now have their curtains closed tight and some say the show is over-they want their private lives back.



  • Tom

    Uhhhhhh……… CLOSE YOUR CURTAINS?………………………………………. An open curtain is like a stage… YOU invited him in………………………

    • gorgegirl

      There is no difference in taking these photos of the people who exposed themselves in these situations from if they were walking in the park. No difference.

      • Janet

        There is actually a HUGE difference. You are IN PUBLIC in the park. You have a legitimate expectation of PRIVACY INSIDE YOUR HOME..even with the curtains open. People posting otherwise simply have NO MANNERS. Apparently you simply have forgotten the definition of "peeping tom" (peep·ing Tom (ppng) n. A person who gets pleasure, especially sexual pleasure, from secretly watching others; a voyeur.). Being a peeping tom is not considered acceptable. And it doesn't matter if one leaves ones blinds open or closed, the peeping tom is the one breaking the rules.

        Let's put it this way…you don't blame the rape victim for the clothing she was wearing you blame the rapist for committing the rape. The actor who violates socialite norms is the person to be condemned, not the victim. If Google had stood on the street and taken the photos would you feel the same? Especially the photos of the children? And what of the photos he chose not to publish? you know, the ones of the partially undressed people, or the people in compromising positions – the spouses or significant others in intimate situations? He was using a HIGH POWERED lens. People on the street could not observe these people in their homes. He was peeping on them and there is no telling what other photos he took (including the possibility of child porn) just because he was careful in what he decided to illegally sell (and YES they are being sold illegally – you do NOT have the right to use a telephoto lens to snoop into the confines MY home and take a photo of me and my family and sell it at profit just because you call it art – not even if you obscure my face. You have to have my permission and if you don't have my permission you should expect to be sued and lose.)

        The residents who are complaining are complaining BECAUSE this peeping tom used his camera to violate the sanctity of their HOMES. Those of you who cannot comprehend that are no better than those who blame the rape victim.

  • Judy

    You don't care if people look, only if they take pictures and make money from it? Get a grip. No expectation of privacy if you leave your curtains open.

  • Janet

    For those who think that it is LEGALLY acceptable to (1) take photos of someone (2) INSIDE their HOME and (3) PROFIT off of it you have not lived long enough. In both New York and California this requires written consent, regardless of whether or not the person's face is recognizable. The person taking the pix is a PERVERT not an artist. the cops may not want to do anything about it but you can sure bet the attorneys will…and the courts…and the juries. The only question one needs to ask to know if a jury will vote for the pervert of for the residents is "how would you feel if it was your child in those pix?"

    • lkjhg

      Blurred out faces means this pics are LEGAL!!!! TV does this with people that do not sign the consent form….kthxbi!!!

    • GammaRay Burst

      Blah blah. if your stupid enough to leave your drapes wide open , YOU ARE FAIR GAME FOR VIEWING.

      My drapes are closed cause I don't want some freak checking out my wife or kids …

      Nuff said.

  • GammaRay Burst

    Stop complaining, your the idiots who left their drapes open.

    Most likely in an attempt to show off your big-screen and overpriced furniture…

  • gorgegirl

    I see absolutely nothing illegal or even immoral about those photos. The neighbors should have been impressed at the talent this man has displayed in the photos. There is no difference between him taking these photos of them from a view they have opened themselves up to, and if they were walking in the park. None.

    • Janet

      Just because *you* see nothing illegal with this doesn't mean that it IS legal. Last I checked "gorgegirl" was not the arbiter of the law of the land. Even celebrities – who are news worthy and therefore have way less protection due to the First Amendment compared to a completely private citizen – have the right to privacy INSIDE their home and can seek redress through the courts to stop publication of photos taken of them in such manner (by way of telephoto lens through upperlevel windows .

      We are not talking about people who were walking around Central Park. These people were ensconced inside their homes…some of them several stories above the first floor…(the building is over 6 stories tall and the photographer was on the 2nd floor when he took the photos) the aggrieved residents HAD THE EXPECTATION THAT PASSERBYS COULD NOT SEE THEM and that people in other buildings wouldn't be using high powered telephoto lenses to take photographs of them – because social norms say that that is just RUDE

  • George

    People that live in glass apartments should expect no privacy. Not until they close the blinds. Windows allow people to see out and they allow people to see in. The fact that this person choose to preserve the same thing others get to see every day does not make it any different. And I am sure there are other neighbors that look in.

    • Tazza

      I have to agree with George. I was watching the newscast and was quite stunned at how much we could see just from the reporters vantage point. I was of the thought that it was "normal" apartments with regular windows at first and was stunned to see a glass building instead. They put themselves in the position to be seen by anyone, anytime by living in a glass "house."

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