Another powerful image.
Another two worlds colliding.
Look at the lines of legs and body, long, sharp, straight. She looks outward and up.
His are hunched, curved, circular. He curls inwards and down.
Just emphasizes what opposite experiences they are having.
This black and white photo is so interesting, everything in it has a story : the curves of the mail box, the trash can and the man leaning over it on one side, then the straight lines of the woman’s legs, the architecture of her heels against the lines of the post, all that against the building’s geometrical lines and the curves of the car’s hood and top. And the light and shadows……Cher Scott, vous etes un artiste !
Getting socially sensitive? Nice! For me this picture shows how much emphasis some people put and how much money they spend on “what to put on?” while others have barely what to eat. Not saying fashion is bad. People need creativity and fashion is one if the creative fields. Just it is good to pay attention from time to time to the surrounding world.
I would be curious about your take on this topic.
What I get from this artful picture is that the clothes of these two disparate subjects are amazigly similar–even to the bags slung over their backs–each in his/her own way dressed for their lives in the city. Their but for te grace of God, tese two could change places in a heartbeat. A profound lesson.
this photo is making visible what my eyes usually slide away from. Easy to ignore what is painful. It’s not just the babe in the idiotic (but anthropologically interesting) shoes who doesn’t see him going through the trash looking for something he can use? sell? eat?; it’s me, too.
I find this incredibly offensive and in bad taste– not as a documentation, but in this context (of this website) is seems extremely belittling and absurd. I don’t doubt it is a nice image – and this exists – and it is valuable to see that both exist, elite/designer/young/privileged and the other side of that.
I really love and admire your work, but I’m not entirely sure what your intention was with this particular photograph. Whether it was meant to be provocative or reportage-type- Dorothea-Lage-sque snapshot of reality, it came out (to my inferior mind, at least), a bit wrong. Especially given the context: the usual content of the blog (which I love) and the fashion-oriented audience.
Looking at the comments left above, I see that some of the commenters (i.e. Elizabeth), make really excellent points; a lot of things said about the image, however, seem to be, frankly, quite insensitive (understatement). Way to be inspired by somebody’s poverty! As long as it makes someone feel creative…
I guess any kind of attempt to aestheticize suffering makes me uncomfortable, and I’m just always genuinely surprised by the level of detachment from the realities of life (including the reality of poverty) that some people exhibit.
I know it is not what you usually do, but I would really love to hear about your personal take on the image itself, your intentions as its author and the realities of high fashion and often abject poverty that intersect on a daily basis, often in a shocking ways, in a place such as NYC.
I apologize if it’s a harsh critique, but some of the comments made me incredibly sad.
I know of a homeless guy who died in NYC, this image is painfully true for most cities or probably all cities and places where there is affluence and the homeless. The world is a harsh place but also a place of beauty. Whenever there is really bad weather I think of homeless people. Thanks for sharing.
It is a sad photo, but not morbid, I think. This is a fact of life in cities, all the time. People looking for bottles or food in trash, and people who are going about their everyday lives in the meantime. I don’t think it signifies a great deal of callousness for this to happen. She didn’t walk away, or even really turn away. He is down and out, but eventually, we all are, aren’t we?
I feel this is a unique picture because. Yes the what seems like the middle-upper class woman is looking down on the homeless man digging in the trash is depressing, but what many might not know is that the homeless man is wearing $200+ Foamposite sneakers which is weird to me.
I’ve noticed and admired for a longe time that you go beyond the most provacative, most expensive, most trendy clothes on the street and always see the person wearing them.
It has always been more than just fashion and something beautifull for the eye. So, this is just the next step. And I thank you for it. Right decision. Greetings from Germany.
Her shoes are frivolous – therein lies the statement, for me at least. She’s concerned about being edgy and fashion forward while his concerns are probably food, shelter and survival. To me this image is a comment on the world of fashion and the fact that it’s not really that important in the scheme of things.
this is a disgrace. To post a photo depciting the juxtaposition between homelessness/poverty and wealth for the sake of fashion is deplorable and illustrates how little humanity is left in this world. I am not saying these photos should not be shown, because homlessness is a dire problem even in the developed world, but this is not a blog advocating civil rights, it is a fashion blog. So please, continue to depict these beautifully crafed garments as they are and not in contrast to human suffering. I expected more from such a wonderful and globally respected blog.
What a amazing photo. And what a heels that she is wearing..
What a really good timing of making a picture.
The interpretation of us is soo quick. Maybe the man/woman was just looking for something haha.
Henri Cartier-Bresson meeting Helmut Newton… It literally is a “street-style” image. I love it, because it’s more about “street” than about “style” and more about “life” than about “fashion”. It’s art, I think.
Very artistic capture, expressive visual composition, it is like a reality show. It’s depressing but so real, that’ s life! So…i hardly saw her shoes.
This is art of photography, so that’s define mr. Scott talent.
Curious, the moralism this has stirred up. If the picture you took is what you saw – not a composed shot, then we see it how it was. Would people rather you wait until the guy moves on? Better to pretend that there’s no one on the street but the fashionistas? The inequalities are always there, whether we choose to have them in the picture or not.
Don’t shoot the messenger. There is no exploitation here. Just a picture. Its not selling fashion. Its showing fashion. Big difference. If it struck the photographer as important, it should be here. Its a bit childish to say that pictures of anything unhappy are designated in blogs for unhappy photography. This is a fashion photo, and a strong one. It has other connotations as well.
As for a contrast between the two subjects, don’t judge a book by the cover. You know nothing about those two people. Things are not always as they look.
Thankyou for the thought provoking image, Scott and helpers.
Lovely photo. But controversial? A bum in NYC??? Stop the presses!!! How many times do you suppose there is a bum somewhere in a fashion photo unnoticed? Or around the corner? Would be better for you all if the man moved out of your sight? Or didn’t exist at all?
Is she wearing shorts? Thigh highs? I love the look, but I am not sure what she actually has on. Great booties.
Seriously, what allot of strokes for a totally hum drum image. The only amazing issue is how little people think before they hand out praise. Saying this is amazing is like providing 7 year old boys football trophies.
There’s a gap between perception and reality: our eyes “see” the same thing but our minds process the information differently, yielding diverse interpretations of shared images. Some people are turned-off and angered by pictures on a fashion blog which provoke a bit of soul-searching. Others take it as an opportunity to exercise their value system, because they know it’ll make them stronger.
I find this picture highly depressing. And then I read the comments.. and that made me even more sad. Yes, photographers capture life images, but this is a fashion blog ..
My summary of the comments: “oh the shoes are amazing! oh and the homeless man adds such depth to the picture. ok, back to shopping for $500 shoes” …. really pathetic (and sad)
I don’t understand the complaints about using the man for a fashion shot. First of all this is not a fashion shot to me because the last thing I think about when looking at it is fashion – in the sense of “what to buy” “what Outfit to wear” or “how to combine my clothes”. It’s more like a critique of the importance of fashion or the priority it has in some peoples life, superficial society, me included. Therefore it’s not just a fashion shot. It’s art. And art is allowed to be critical or to show reality and to make aware of Problems – even while being pretty in the way of execution or composition – and thats what it does. Taking a picture of an actual Situation is not using someone. I think this is a great picture, a sad picture and it gets people to think!
to reply to Kira: you are right, art has a right to tell the truth. on thesartorialist.com though it seems to be in a gray area. I for one am not disturbed by the picture per se but some of the comments of “Pretty Woman” and “sexy” on this site. More sad by the comments rather than that Scott chose to take this picture and post it.
To Natalie, I don’t think this is a fashion shot at all. And I don’t think the woman in the pic is wearing label clothes, or if she is, they might be second hand. Her shoes are a bit too big, she wear stockings with open heels, she looks like hooker to me, and by coincident there is a homeless man behind her. ( by saying she is a hooker, I am not offending this woman, that’s just what I think ) Anyway it is a great picture, and the fact is that there are a lot of homeless people in New York city, and elsewhere too.
It’s interesting this picture elicits a reaction whether having felt sad, offended, or inspired. Perhaps the picture is a truth, reflecting this site, particularly society’s vanity. We shouldn’t feel ashamed for the unfashionable man or trendy woman, accept it because they already exist before and remain after this picture or discussion. The picture says, “What do we value?”
It’s amazing how people want to live in a bubble and pretend that all is pink and rosy. Scott is an artist, first and foremost.. He captures images in a tasteful and interesting manner. We are able to read a story through his images.. we have all seen expressions in the subjects he’s chosen and made comments about those and not just the clothes the people are wearing, the image depicted above is just one of those. Anyone can capture images, but no one quite captures the mood like he does, hence such a huge following. Would we rather have prefered that he waits for the man to finish rummaging and move away so we can capture just the lady? Is that how we have consumed the rest of the images on this site? I say big up to Scott!! I love your work and how inspiring it is – whether it is to give me an idea of what to wear and how, or whether to take action on a particular issue… be it visiting the New York fashion week or giving to charity…
Reading coments made me realize one thing – people, now days, became immune to actually noticing people who sleep, eat, and die from diseases on the streets. I don’t understand how can someone see art in the curves of the person who is bent over the trash bin in search of the food.