Speaker: Mike Peters
The Meatpacking District is in NYC’s Chelsea neighborhood, and used to be filled with meat processing plants. The area back in the 70′s had a rather fragrant aroma from the rendering plants, not to mention a rather robust variety of streetwalkers plying their trade. Now, it’s filled with tourists and thrill seekers from the boro’s, the burbs, and other places around the globe, looking for good times and willing to spend a lot of money to achieve that goal. Reminds me of when I was young, and desperate, to have fun in the city.
In each of these photos I have asked the cooperation of my subjects, involving them in the process of making a photograph of them, as I found them.
I present people with an out of context experience by asking them if I can take their photo. I also ask them not to smile, which for many is an uncomfortable experience, as they are automatically conditioned to do so when confronted with a camera. These photographs are the result of their reactions to the process.
My preference is to photograph people with ambiguous facial expressions that allow the viewer to project their own feelings on to the emotional comportment of the subject, thereby allowing for the possibility of the viewer forging a connection with the subject.