I always love when fashion serves to support people’s personality. That’s what I call style. I would never wear sneakers like those with a skirt, simply because it wouldn’t suit my personality, but I’m amazed by the versatility of fashion and how, when worn by the right personality, it ceases to be fashion and lends its wearer style! She looks great!
All I too see is the man…and there are so many like him here in Chicago. I don’t see hope, unfortunately, I see despair. And it is a contrast to the delight of the woman with the camera. Just an observation, not a judgement. In any event, both could use a nice handknit scarf to keep warm in New York City’s mercurial weather!
I think the gentleman looks pretty stylish himself. Whether he put time and thought into it, could care less, or it’s all he’s got to his name it all works well together in my opinion. I think my favorite little detail is the way the extra length of his belt hangs down at the side.
It’s really something we all do – judge/ presume the conditions of others through our own filters of what we consider ‘acceptable’. In other words, it’s a tricky thing to assume he looks in despair. Based on what factors? His clothing? His skin color AND the quality of his clothing? There’s a 50/50 shot that he’s feeling just fine…
I dont think MB sees the man himself as in despair. Its the emotion the difference captured by the picture evokes for him. And while its one thing to be judgemental, it is quite another to be blind to deprivation.
If I’d err, I’d rather it was on the side of the former.
Also, a picture is a picture because of what it evokes…
it interpellates a viewer into a viewing position, and this picture is clearly a study in contrast.
Whether or not it was meant to be.
The camera must capture that which is placed before it.
Also, I would venture the point that the man doesnt have to feel un-fine for the viewer to be unsettled by it. And that I’m unsettled doesnt have to mean I’m racist/prejudiced/normative.
He certainly doesn’t look anything like despair. Where do you get the idea that he is somehow in a bad way? I see nothing to indicate poverty, or even slackerness. He looks stylish and casual. You are projecting, obviously.
Ohhhhhh … gee, this photo makes me feel bad …. NOT because you took it; in fact, because you saw the dichotomy of the two people, and highlighted two very contrasting stories. One the one hand, it’s “lah-ti-dah!” and on the other ….. “I wonder if I’ll eat today.”
There is a certain arrogance in this perspective that I just can’t get over. The two facial expressions (not to mention the glitter in the woman’s background) seem to epitomize the growing disparity between the rich and the poor, which goes beyond aesthetic juxtaposition.
Wow. This photo is both beautiful and provocative. There are no words to describe the effect of combining your sense of composition, light, and spontaneity, with a contemporary social realist perspective.
I am a fan of all of your photographs, but I would love to see more like this.
I am not assuming anything and it certainly is not based on skin colour and, I never mentioned homeless. Look at the grime on the blanket/coat, the unshaven face and dirty upper lip and the boots without laces, and the shiny knees on the denims suggesting that they are in need of a laundry. Is it reasonable to think it smacks of poverty? Oh, and let’s not judge other comments and throw out accusations of racism!
No, because of the dirty clothes he’s carrying and wearing. If he was white I’d think the same. We have homeless folks here in Chicago too.
Maybe he’s not homeless. But if he is, it surely points to the ridiculousness of this photo and people commenting about the ‘contrast’ of her shoes (vs. say, his) and the wide difference between where they’ll each be going home tonight and what they’ll be having for dinner.
Well said Eric. It still remains a powerful photograph and speaks volumes about Western society and its values. It has also produced some thoughtful comments and observations beyond ‘awesome I need to get some . . .’
Maritza, he’s carrying a grimy looking blanket. His face looks drawn in, in a way much too premature for his age. His fingers seem stiff. Even if he isnt ‘actually’ homeless, he definitely does stand in for the homeless quite well.
After all, a picture isn’t worth a thousand words for nothing.
On the heels of the US election, this is a very powerful photo. I’m an admirer of your work, Scott, and of what I believe are your professional ethics. But I have to ask: did the man agree to be photographed? I hope so, otherwise, he has been further marginalized.
Not easy to comment without offending someone’s sensibility, whether from being presumptuous about his circumstances or clueless … If I say, “I like the three button pinstripe jacket over the turtleneck and v-neck sweater plus his knit cap”, it sounds like I’m makin fun of him.
I often walk down Sixth Ave, from midtown to the village and I have seen this man before. I think he’s part of a group of men who sell used books and magazines, just south of 8th st.
thank you for your response. the context you provide helps me process the image. i don’t think you’re making fun of him – he does exude style, yes? and the sartorialist has photographed others that don’t seem to run in posh circles, because of their style, not their money. i do feel the social disparity in this image, but pretending that kind of thing doesn’t exist by “not-seeing” only exacerbates the divide of rich and poor.
The gentleman looks, to me, like someone who is trying to keep his sense of self together under adverse circumstances (the blanket and the condition of his jeans suggest those to me; my sincere apologies to him if I’m misreading). I don’t think it’s making fun of him to notice and respect that.
In that vein, I also appreciate Mr Schuman’s posting of the photo… it’s a pointed reminder of the greatest challenge facing the US: its appalling economic inequities.
another mind blowing picture sart – when pictures make me feel this way – i just don’t know what to do with myself… lol (and I can’t tell what he’s holding in his hand – toiletries (?) potatoe chips??)
My comment is in regards to the man in the photograph that, “Sevan” first mentioned.
I believe that he was the subject in a photograph I made a couple of years ago. Though his face is not shown in my photo, his face is familiar as I remember he lifted his head for a brief moment in the frames following this shot:
I found an irony in this seemingly homeless man wearing an “I â€ NY” t-shirt. At first I felt terrible, thinking that he is wearing an affectionately toned shirt for the very city where he calls its streets ‘Home’; a city that may have turned its back on him. Then I realized how wrong I could be. How speculative I was being…how maybe this is his choice and that very likely, (given that he was also carrying a bag with the same logo), that a shop owner could have given him these items out of pure kindness. After all, it’s difficult for me to view NYC in a negative light for long if ever, as it was Home for me as well for a wonderful while.