“We witness not just an artist anxious about his uprooting, but also the anxiety of a city as it changes beyond recognition.”—Bedatri D. Choudhury, Hyperallergic
Jay Myself is a documentary feature about renowned photographer and artist Jay Maisel who, in February 2015, after forty-eight years, begrudgingly sold his home—the 35,000 square-foot, 100-year-old landmark building in Manhattan known simply as “The Bank.” The film depicts Jay’s monumental move through the eyes of filmmaker and Jay’s former associate, artist and photographer Stephen Wilkes. It is through this intimate lens that the viewer is taken on an exquisite journey through Jay’s life as an artist, mentor, and man grappling with time, life, change, and the end of an era in New York City.
The rare few, lucky enough to venture inside, discover a thriving artist paradise, home to the eccentric, barrel-chested, cigar-smoking photographer and artist, Jay Maisel. In 2015, due to the high costs of taxes and maintenance, Jay was forced to sell “The Bank” for a staggering $55 million dollars, making it the single largest real-estate sale in the history of New York City.
With unprecedented access to Jay, “The Bank,” and everything in between, Jay Myself captures a moment in New York City history that we will never see again. 2018, U.S., DCP, 79 minutes. Recommended for 16+.