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.
Luis and partner – Harlem 2013 - Inside New York series – Copyright Leon Cato
It seems to me that everything you read or hear these days is about improving your life. I suppose we as humans are always striving to be better people in one way or another. But, at least to me, the noise has reached obsessive proportions:
10 Habits of Successful People to Adopt
12 Habits of Miserable People to Avoid
How to Grow your Fortune
How to Live a Fulfilled Life
Be the Person You Always Wanted to Be
How to Get Ahead
How to be Content with What You Have
…and on and on and on…
I find this all to be dangerous. In our attempt to be better perhaps we may be compromising the individuals we really are – especially as we create unattainable goals for ourselves. This can and often does lead to all kinds of anxiety and unwanted problems that cause crippling disillusion and a sort of life Vertigo.
Just my take on it, no guidance to be offered here, but as I grow older I am reminded how little I actually know as life continues to throw all types of surprises and detours. I’ll be d*mned if I know anything about anything so I have narrowed down my priorities and just kind of keep on going.
The image above is from my Inside New York portrait series. Portraits of New Yorkers in their home – the one place where they can be who they are and do whatever they want to do outside the judging eyes of most folk.
Enjoy and feel free to comment.