DO NOT YIELD TO EVIL (SENIOR THESIS EXHIBITION)
For my whole life, the Bronx has been the place I call home. As a child growing up in New York City, I was always attracted to the interplay between the grime and the flashiness of the city. From the rugged and industrial area of Hunts Point in the Bronx to the Fashion District oozing with designer items in Manhattan, New York City has a very broad spectrum of environments. Each part of the city is complex to its core, filled with both natural and man-made spaces. All of these spaces coexist, yet they are constantly fighting for attention. These neighborhoods all vary in poverty and affluence and that attributed to my intrigue. With the camera, I was able to quickly document life through my daily travels. I began to make images of everything that inhabited the city. From architecture to portraits of those inhabiting the community, I was striving to document this area in any way possible. Although I was making landscapes and portraits in an urban area, the images themselves did not seem to convey it. Furthermore, the portraits seemed to become about the subjects and their own lives, and less about the site that they existed in. With the decrease of my interest in photographing the inhabitants of these areas, I quickly became curious about the area itself. My eye was constantly drawn to buildings, signage, and objects. I was excited by the shapes and the reflections and the way they would function in this atmosphere. To me, this abstract subject matter began to portray more about New York City neighborhoods then the residents themselves.
The images in Do Not Yield To Evil provide an multi-dimensional look at these spaces. Although intimate, I want these spaces to feel alienated from the rest of the urban world. The work that I create does not contain humans and often utilizes decoys to compensate for that absence. I find that in my own work, portraits can disrupt the tension between intimacy and alienation. Through imagery of objects, I am able to characterize my personal sentiment towards these areas. From refuse to advertisements, it is important to understand that I am drawn to the spaces of the humans, but not towards the humans themselves.