Jonathan Higbee: Coincidences: New York By Chance
“When I moved to New York, I was completely overwhelmed, overstimulated, and anxious. I loved every second of it. (…) I used the camera to distill the chaos and overwhelming nature of New York into something that I could understand and process.” – Jonathan Higbee
Being in the right place at the right time is an understatement for photographer Jonathan Higbee. His amazing collection of visual serendipity on the streets of New York City are masterful and certainly require a split-second recognition of crazy good juxtapositions. Anthology Editions has just released his book, Coincidences. Tomorrow night he will have a book signing at the Aperture Bookstore and Gallery,Tuesday, November 5, at 6:30pm, 547 West 27th Street, 4th floor, New York, NY 10001.
The book comprises over ten years of Higbee’s work on the streets of New York City, including iconic and never-before-published photographs. A self-professed love letter to New York, Higbee captures moments of serendipity when people and their surroundings collide in beautiful, humorous and sometimes extraordinary ways.
In his foreword, Academy-Award winning filmmaker Dustin Lance Black, writes: “Jonathan’s is an eye in search of meaning, laughter, art, conflict, criticism, love, and light. He paints pictures–not with oil or acrylic—but with lenses and existence, compressing three dimensions into two to point out even more beauty, conflict and meaning than most would have guessed live on our streets down every block.”
Higbee’s images depict the interplay between New Yorkers often lost in their own worlds: moving through crowded intersections, past street signs and advertising billboards, and more; as they hustle to get to work, home or their next appointment. Higbee painstakingly and artfully captures fleeting juxtapositions that take on more meaning through the lens of his camera. In Higbee’s New York, a dancer performs on a stage of trash, graffiti unfurls from a backpack, a father and son hide their faces with cotton candy, and a giant walks the streets of the city. Each photograph captures the wit, joy and surrealism of everyday life in an often-chaotic metropolis.
Higbee stakes out each location where he lingers for minutes to hours—and sometimes returns for days to get his desired shot. His street work in New York has inspired him to photograph other large, dense cities such as Berlin, Paris and London, but he acknowledges that the work in Coincidences could not have happened anywhere else. He writes: “ … I don’t think this body of work could have happened anywhere besides New York. Something about the city’s nature—that mix of commercialism, hustle, and the twenty-four hour lifestyle—all combines to make a very New York story.”
Jonathan Higbee is a New York-based photographer who is often noted for his street photography, but his portfolio also includes fine art and commercial work. His photos have been exhibited all over the world and have been featured in numerous publications such as Huffington Post, Daily Mail, and Buzzfeed. His unique vision has amassed a large following on social media, including a major presence for his Coincidences series on Instagram. He was awarded the World Street Photography grand prize in 2015, a LensCulture Street Photography Award in 2016, and most recently was a 2018 Hasselblad Masters finalist.
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