A new photographic exhibition asks viewers to lower their expectations about what is often called “the greatest city in the world.”

Portuguese-German designer and photographer Daniel Soares has created a fascinating body of work using a simple concept. He traversed New York City and shot photographs from the ground level. The results are unique and arresting, giving a glimpse of a down-low New York City that seems to be forgotten more and more each day: the filth of the street, the detritus, the unseen of the “under our noses,” because New Yorkers are constantly looking skyward. The exhibition is called “Down to Earth” and brings the viewer down a few notches.

“This is not another exhibition about the greatness of New York,” the photographer writes. “In New York everyone looks up. But what about the places right under our eyes? This project is about the modest NYC. I placed the camera on the floor. This is the unseen NYC of low expectations. Literally. Down to Earth.”

Not content simply with creating the photographs from a low perspective, the artist also forces viewers into his position when viewing the photos.

 “During the gallery showing the frames are placed on the floor in opposition to usual expositions,” Soares says. “People are invited to see the pictures in the same perspective and angle as the photographer. Down to Earth.”

“Down to Earth” will show next at the Art Primo Gallery in San Francisco, from January 27-31.

We last heard from Soares following a street-art campaign he mounted that appeared around Germany. Complex posted about the Photoshop toolbox bars that appeared on a contentious H&M ad; Soares was responsible.

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[via Designboom]