Coronavirus News: 1972 song inspires photographer to snap photos of face mask wearers

COVID-19 News and Information

BySandy A. Kenyon WABC logo
Wednesday, August 5, 2020
Song inspires photographer to snap face mask wearers
The challenging time in which we live has inspired one local photographer who recalled the words of a song written almost half a century ago.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The challenging time in which we live has inspired one local photographer who recalled the words of a song written almost half a century ago.

"This Masquerade" was written in 1972 by Leon Russell and recorded most memorably by "The Carpenters" a year later, but it seems especially relevant now with its lines about being, "Lost inside this lonely game we play."

David Goodman has made those lyrics sing again by setting his pictures of people in the street wearing all sorts of different masks. The old tune about loss is giving new meaning thanks to him after he decided to record life in our city in the time of coronavirus.

"I think you need to bear witness," he said.

Goodman has been taking pictures since he was a teenager, and found himself drawn to Broadway right after the Theater District theaters shutdown in mid-March.

"It was almost a sense of Armageddon at the time," he said. "It was creepy. There was nobody on the streets."

And, that got Goodman thinking about masks.

"To get maybe the rest of the country to see what we're doing here in New York, how we flattened the curve here," he said.

Goodman started taking photographs for an hour a day.

"Of course, when New Yorkers do something, they don't do it with a half measure," he said. "They do it with style and panache, and individuality, and rebelliousness, and I wanted to capture all of that."

When asked what these masks say about the people who wear them, Goodman replied with a laugh, "I'll leave what it says to the psychiatrists."

"Some people have more of a sense of humor," he said. "Some people are very serious."

The resilience of New Yorkers was shown dramatically when they cheered on frontline workers every evening at 7 p.m.

"I think that was an important thing because it made us feel we were all in it together," Goodman said.

His work celebrates all those moments, where we could all say, 'Hey I'm here. You're here. We're connecting with each other.' That was a wonderful, wonderful thing to have happen.

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