There is a complaint that “Street Photography” doesn’t ask enough questions and only provides answers. I disagree. I have looked at this picture for several years and all I can conclude is that the beautiful young lady on the right is probably a very dedicated Christian or Catholic. I also know that she was headed either uptown or downtown on the I.R.T. I have no idea about anything else. The woman on her left could be her mom, but could also be her step mother or an aunt. Does her father play a large role in her life? Did he leave the woman on the left? Is the young woman a virgin. (like her homegirl Mary?) Is there a chance she’s already pregnant? Is she happy? Has she found a college yet, or did she drop out of school? Does she have a dog? A cat? A hamster?

Most of the people in my photos are open to a variety of questions and I never know anything for sure, other than what they look like and what they are wearing.  I wonder what answers my pictures provide. I also prefer letting my mind wander and questioning what I see. I have never felt a shortage of curiosity when looking at photos taken “In the real world” Staged photography, on the other hand is extremely easy for me to decipher. I can usually read the artists intent quickly, and find it very boring…Of course with a tenth grade education, my point of view is probably dubious at best, and easy to dismiss. If only I had an MBA in fine arts, I’d be able to see things more clearly…

3 thoughts on ““Broadway Local” 2005

  1. A sound assertion and not dubious at all. The young ladies guardian seems very severe and protective over this young one, who’s angelic expression would compliment her shirt. The question I want to ask is… Was she singing?

  2. Matt, I agree with everything you said, except the part about your education and how it makes your POV dubious. Not true. If you go back a very shot period of time, most photographers of renown did not have advanced degrees in anything except from the school of hard knocks, from which you already possess a hard won doctorate. Don’t sell yourself short.

    The crowd which runs things now, unfortunately uses the possession of an MFA as proof that you have gone through the same rigamarole as they have, so they can let you into the club. Whatever. We won’t get in, but in the long term it does not diminish the work that we do or it’s significance in years to come.

    Don’t worry about anyone else, just do the work, ignore those that think they know. In my experience, those that seem to be so sure about things are almost always the most ignorant.

    You are creating a superlative body of work that will stand the test of time, don’t let anyone lead you to believe otherwise.

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