Thank you, Mike and James.
Alberti’s MM sly montage combines near and far, flashy and cool, sculptured and readymade, as though Le Corbusier and Duchamp decided to collaborate after a game of Jenga.
First, the distinctive pants. The quizzical expression, as though wondering, Who smudged my face while I snoozed on the bench? By the time I realize he’s a mime making up, David has led me to the real paradox and satisfaction: in a posture and with gestures larger and more vivid than most, who plop their sacks of idle humanity on park benches, he is prepping for a shift of long-practiced stillness that is also his livelihood.
Malcolm M rocks a IIIg and 90 in an old-school series about punk, though more fundamentally (like Wenge’s series in Sant Fe) it celebrates personality, a party costume life, preening, posturing, pageantry. I like how this heads-together image gets us beyond the zoo fence, so to speak, in more essential reminder—girls just wanna have fun. Like you, like me.
I admire Kaniel’s alertness to New Yorkers privately coping in public with physical and psychic impairments that also embody economic insecurity, lifelong injuries of class and race and education. This bent man seems paralyzed by sudden blind pain, and gripped by the realization he’s going down, alone, while the others around him with jobs and errands go on, unaffected and unconcerned.
Like David’s mime, this subject is making herself up in public. Mike isolates her self-composure with a bus seat headrest/pull-up frame. That almost suffices. But the shadowy onlooker studying the photographer as he studies his subject is an understated surprise—as though the made-up woman has a furtive doppelgänger trailing her, looking out from deep inside, with no real certainty about what life is.
Wenge’s inspiring series revels in patterns of tone, photographic and sumptuary, in what is essentially a competitive historical fancy-dress tableau. I like the intimacy of this trio that belies its zoom capture, their range of features, their embodiment of merriment, solemnity, and interior warmth that transcend tribe, nation, language.
I always expect expertise from Tuna, but at medium distance street, characters at a dispassionate ambiguous remove in a plaza, etc. So this is a nice up-close surprise, the Big Gulp and baseball cap and Apeman logo, though most especially that observant, magnetized, magnetic eye.