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Photography

In ‘Eyes on the Street,’ Photographer Jamel Shabazz Identifies the Boundless Culture of New York City’s Outer Boroughs

April 7, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Man and dog,” Lower East Side, Manhattan (1980), C-print, 16 x 20 inches. All images courtesy of the artist, shared with permission

One of New York City’s most discerning and essential documentarians, photographer Jamel Shabazz has built a career around capturing the unique visual lexicon of the outer boroughs. His images are deeply empathetic and resolute in the value of all life regardless of race, class, and social status. With a self-described goal of preserving “the world history and culture,” Shabazz continually finds the joy and vibrancy emanating from communities like Brownsville, Red Hook, and Harlem.

His first institutional survey, an expansive exhibition of Shabazz’s photos is on view through September 4 at The Bronx Museum. Eyes on the Streets contains more than 150 images from his extensive archive, some of which are shown for the first time. Distinctly rooted in place, the collection transcends neighborhood and time period, creating a rich, photographic mosaic of New Yorkers through the last four decades. The exhibition also speaks to current conversations around policing and alternatives by showing how tight-knit communities and street activity have long bolstered public safety.

Often recognized for capturing hip-hop culture and the fashions of the 1980s, Shabazz’s photos range from the stylishly posed to the candid and serendipitous. He frames a pitbull mid-air as it grips a strap, children flipping onto a frayed mattress, and a beaming, rush-hour crowd grinning through an open window. Having recorded poverty, the widespread effects of racism, and those housed at Rikers Island during his time working for the Department of Corrections, Shabazz continually chooses humanity and happiness. “Some of the people in the community might see themselves when they were at a really bad point in their lives,” he told The New York Times in reference to the images he chose to leave out of Eyes on the Streets. “I wanted to focus more on the joy.”

Shabazz has published multiple monographs throughout his career, and his new A Time Before Crack is available for pre-order. The forthcoming Jamel Shabazz: Albums, which won the Gordon Parks Foundation/Steidl Book Prize, is also slated for release next fall. You can find more of his photos on his site.

 

“Flying High,” Brownsville, Brooklyn (1982)

“Jacob The Jeweler,” Midtown Manhattan (2009), gelatin silver print, 16 x 20 inches

“Straight out of Red Hook, Brooklyn” (1980), C-print, 16 x 20 inches

“When two paths cross,” Fort Greene, Brooklyn (2012), archival pigment print, 16 x 20 inches

“Rush Hour,” Brooklyn (1980), C-print, 11 x 14 inches

“Joy Riding,” Flatbush, Brooklyn (1980), C-print, 16 x 20 inches

“Remembering Malcolm,” Harlem, New York (2010), gelatin silver print, 16 x 20 inches

 

 



Photography

The Annual ‘Women Street Photographers’ Exhibition Highlights the Images Changing the Genre

March 30, 2022

Grace Ebert

Anna Biret. All images courtesy of Women Street Photographers, shared with permission

Since 2017, a multi-faceted initiative has celebrated hundreds of street photographers whose work develops and expands the boundaries of what’s historically been a male-dominated field. The project of Gulnara Samoilova, Women Street Photographers connects the widespread and deeply personal by highlighting the subtle, nuanced ways the world appears when viewed by different people. Broad in subject matter and style, the initiative’s collection ranges from Anna Biret’s intimate, shadow-laden portrait of a young girl in India to Debrani Das’s candid shot of children at play in black and white.

Women Street Photographers also function as a vital community for those working today, and in recent years, the project has grown from an Instagram account to an artist residency and book collecting a small portion of images. It also culminates each year in an annual exhibition, with the fourth edition opening on April 7 at ArtSpace PS109 in Manhattan. The upcoming show features the work of 79 photographers from 20 countries and will be presented alongside a collection by residency runner-up Maude Bardet. Similar to previous iterations, this year’s exhibition is an expansive consideration of the photographers working toward a more diverse genre.

See some of our favorite shots included in the show below, and visit the project’s site for a deeper look at the ongoing initiative. Samoilova is also curating a show by Women Street Photographers member Sandra Cattaneo Adorno, which opens on April 23 at Personal Structures.

 

Zeryaden Remini

Sonia Goydenko

Nina Welchkling

Karen Zusman

Heike Frielingsdorf

France Leclerc

Erica Lansner

Debrani Das

Britta Kohlboas

 

 



Photography

Highlighting Life in Ukraine, A Print Sale is Raising Funds for People Impacted By the Crisis

March 21, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Ukraine Runs Through It,” Justyna Mielnikiewicz

A print sale from the women-led nonprofit Vital Impacts (previously) is raising money for people affected by the ongoing war in Ukraine. The month-long fundraiser, titled Impact Now, offers more than 100 images from National Geographic photographers. Taken globally and diverse in subject matter, the collection includes a variety of landscapes and wildlife, in addition to stunning underwater shots by renowned photographers Paul Nicklen (previously) and David Doubilet (previously)—and multiple shots focus specifically on life in Ukraine. David Guttenfelder documents protestors from the country’s Orange Revolution in the mid-aughts, while Justyna Mielnikiewicz spotlights young dancers from Kramatorsk and Sloviansk in 2015, the latter of which became a hub for pro-Russia rebels the year prior.

Impact Now runs through April 20, and all profits will be donated to Direct Relief, which is providing humanitarian aid to Ukraine. You can buy prints here.

 

“Ukrainian Demonstrators in the Orange Revolution,” David Guttenfelder

“Dresses,” Amy Toensing

“Polar Bear Mother with Cubs,” Norbert Rosing

“Central Park on a Foggy Night, New York,” Jim Richardson

“Emperor Reflections,” Paul Nicklen

“Merced River Yosemite Valley,” Michael Melford

“Last Bell Kyiv,” Dina Litovsky

“Chance Encounter,” David Doubilet

“Yosemite Valley after the Storm,” Jimmy Chin

 

 



Photography

Dense Fog Shrouds San Francisco’s Streets in a Spectral Haze in Joshua Singh’s Photos

February 24, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Joshua Singh, shared with permission

Photographer Joshua Singh wields the unrelenting fog that hangs over San Francisco to veil his shots with a dreamy, eerie quality. The Bay Area city is notorious for the dense weather condition that thwarts visibility and leaves pockets of reprieve among its hilly landscape—it’s so iconic that some residents have even named the weather event. Often working after sunset, Singh captures everyday activities like soccer practice and commutes that turn mysterious when illuminated by street lights or glowing store signage that peeks through the atmospheric haze.

Head to Instagram to see more of his street photography and to his portfolio to shop prints. (via Peta Pixel)

 

 

 



Photography

Serendipitous Shots Capture the Unexpected Everyday Humor of New York City’s Streets

November 10, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Eric Kogan, shared with permission

Photographer Eric Kogan is adept at spotting quirky coincidences on New York City’s streets. He captures bizarre and extraordinary scenarios in which pigeons mirror an X painted on a wall in the backdrop, a drippy vent creates a green cascade toward a weed sprouting from the brick, and a cluster of bright red balloons snag on a stoplight.

With a background in painting and a day job in the event industry, Kogan often would snap shots of trash bins and perfectly aligned clouds during his commute, but with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, he began focusing primarily on his photography practice. “When I turned my sole attention to it, one of the first things to change was where I walked. The most desolate places pulled me. Not because they were more socially distant but because they were a stage for some of the most random sights the city had to offer,” he says. “I loved heading out in one direction only and not turning until having no more street to follow behind.”

Kogan’s ability to find humor and serendipity in his surroundings has produced an entire archive of unexpected images, which you can explore on his site and Instagram.

 

 

 



Photography

Herons of Amsterdam: A Photo Series Reveals the Unusually Large Population Living in the Dutch Capital

July 13, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images licensed Julie Hrudová

Spending timing in any major city is likely to bring run-ins with urban wildlife like rodents and pigeons, but in Amsterdam, there’s one long-legged species stalking the streets in unusually large numbers. In her ongoing series Herons of Amsterdam, photographer Julie Hrudová documents the thriving feathered population—it’s grown considerably in recent decades, and in 2017, officials estimated there were 800 pairs living in 25 neighborhoods—swooping down to sidewalks for a meal and confidently strutting into people’s homes.

Often nesting in park trees, the now-ubiquitous birds are known to scour fish markets at close to scavenge the day’s unsold product and visit the zoo at feeding time. They’ve integrated themselves so wholly into the lives of the city’s human inhabitants that it’s not uncommon for residents to supply food and respite to the striped creatures. “They have names for them, like Kiri the heron, who comes by every day for a snack and is not scared to enter the house,” the Prague-born photographer says. “At times he stays for a while and watches TV.”

Last year, Hrudová released a zine compiling many of the images shown here, and she’s currently working on a new book titled Chasing Amsterdam that will be filled with the street photos she takes on a weekly basis. You can follow her sightings around the Dutch capital on Instagram, and check out her curated account StreetRepeat for a survey of the recurring themes photographers document around the world. (via Jeroen Apers)