I was a bit conflicted over whether or not I should publish this photograph. I made this photograph several years ago during one of the most difficult times for my family. My younger cousin had just passed away from cancer. She was the second to succumb to cancer before the age of 30 among her 5 sisters. In the shot are one of her surviving sisters, mother and niece a day after the funeral. Further in the background are two uncles.
As often happens, I forget about photos taken years ago and discovered this while cleaning up an old folder on an old hard drive. I understand why I would not have published it back then as it is deeply personal and the pain was so very raw.
Time has now passed which somewhat dulls the pain. But I also now believe that it is an artist’s responsibility to share his/her work with the world - for there may be a connection a stranger makes with the work that proves to be therapeutic in some sense.
When I viewed it I felt a rush of emotion - deeply connected to the family. However, as objective as I can be, I do believe that a story is held deep within the shot that the viewer can appreciate and maybe that connection can be made.
Please feel free to share your thoughts or any comments.
Often you can be moving from one space to another caught up in your own thoughts and preoccupied with your own matters and are not particularly receptive to someone stopping you on the street for a conversation. I think that's one of the most remarkable things about NY - that small town chat amongst this behemoth iron and glass metropolis.
So when Carl stopped me outside a subway station to ask if I was a photographer I expected the usual kind of questions - what kind of work do you do? What kind of camera do you use? And the contemporary favorite, do you shoot video?
But Carl actually had a pretty interesting story himself. We talked for about 15 minutes about his work with his nephew and the short film they were producing around the sport of boxing. Turns out Carl was a former Golden Glove champ and was featured on the cover and inside the pages of the wonderful The Times Square Gym by photographer Jon Goodman (autographed copy being held by Carl above). Carl then told me about the exhibition on the West Side of Manhattan and the many galleries tucked away in Chelsea.
I went to the exhibition a few weeks later and was blown away.
Change is good. I suppose we have to believe that because things change whether we like it or not.
Truth is, I need change. When things are going one way for too long I get antsy, unsettled, tense and feel a strong need to implement change in my life as soon as possible. Alas, I present my new website.
This is by far the best iteration of my site to date. I kind of sound like an Apple ad - ‘The best smartphone ever” time and time again. It is true, you keep making things better so it stands to reason that the most recent attempt would be the best.
I hope you enjoy the new PORTFOLIO section which display the images in a nice large format and allows for easy navigating and sharing.
One major addition is the PERSONAL section of the site which highlights projects I have completed and are ongoing.
Inside New York is a portrait project of New Yorkers inside their homes over a two year period. In a city where you can be yourself and no one bats an eye, the home is the one place people choose to let their expression fly.
En Route is an ongoing project which is a collection of images made while traveling from one location to another in New York City. I observe shapes, angles, colour, compositions and people in some of the least noticeable areas, perspectives and circumstances. Most of the images were taken on an iPhone and edited using iPhone photography apps. As above all of the images are easily shared via Social Media buttons.
My work as part of AVART Collective is still going strong intercontinental stylee. We continue to deliver groundbreaking art experiences that transcend traditional medium and evoke intense emotion allowing the viewer to experience art…differently. A brand new project is minutes away from completion - stay tuned!
Finally, I am on Instagram (@leoncatophotographer) and am blogging regularly, Feel free to follow, subscribe, leave comments…basically get involved. 2014 has been an exciting and busy year and more exciting projects are one the way.