From the series, Unto Dust. 2010.

Today in regions all over the world, New Orleans, Brazil, Italy and elsewhere the celebratory season of Carnival builds to a frenzy with Mardi Gras then comes to a eerily quiet close on Wednesday. It is interesting to me that in New York, where I have photographed on Ash Wednesday all these years, with the exception of a few bars, there is little to no celebration. We have no parade here. It would appear that New Yorkers skip right to the penance. Since my pictures are of people in midtown Manhattan—people going to and coming from work (because of course it is always Wednesday, the exact middle of the work week)—the pictures have also become a collective portrait of our work ethic.