Page 14

Winter/Spring 2015

12

Harlem Postcards

Summer 2014

Albert Vecerka Born 1969, Sremska Mitrovica, Yugoslavia Lives and works in New York, NY

the whole. I have continued my examination as the neighborhood has changed. In this case, looking at and learning about what was in front of me enabled a theme to emerge and defined the future direction of the project.

Untitled (from “The Harlem Project” series), 2014 © 2014 Albert Vecerka/Esto I have always been interested in the built and natural environments in which we live. I believe that taking a closer look at our immediate surroundings and the forces that shape them is valuable: Places that were, places that are and places that will be speak about our humanity. I learned the basics of photography as I studied electrical engineering in the former Yugoslavia. My first subjects were mostly street scenes. When I moved to the United States, I studied both architecture and photography, and when I decided to pursue photography, architecture became a natural subject. In both my personal projects and assignment work I look to tell stories about places: neighborhoods, buildings, rooms. As an artist I look for visual cues and elements, and then try to assemble them in compositions, just as a writer composes sentences or paragraphs. Looking for the right light, right day or right time of day is a part of that narrative. “The Harlem Project” is about the evolution of a neighborhood, a place where I’ve lived for twenty years. I examined pieces of the old Harlem, and how they relate to

Delphine Diallo Born 1977, Paris, France Lives and works in New York, NY Harlem, Winter 2014 with “l enchanteur”, 2014 Delphine juxtaposes reality with imaginary conscience, fashion with documentary photographs, and tradition with modernity. Kelvin De Leon Born 1997, Bronx, NY Lives and works in Bronx, NY Forgotten, 2014 “Desolate” and “forgotten” are but two words that can be used to describe the barbershop located at 424 Lenox Avenue. Even though the barbershop gives off a feeling of loneliness, I could not help but be drawn to it. I could only imagine the site in its heyday, with the conversations had, the stories told and all of the special moments that occurred. To see the place that harbored all of those special memories to be allowed to go to naught is saddening, for me at least.

Heather Hart Born 1975, Seattle, WA Lives and works in Brooklyn, NY Build-A-Brother Workshop (The Paper Doll Barbershop Poster), 2014 It is a slippery position between exploiting the black male archetype and honoring that same black maleness. In this illusion, between control and care, I want to begin to unpack power relations around race and gender. Through interaction, humor and material, I encourage viewers to relate to my work not only through physicality, but also by opening a dialogue that depends on their perceptions. “Through aesthetic stylization each black hairstyle seeks to revalorize the ethnic signifier, and the political significance of each rearticulation of value and meaning depends on the historical conditions under which each style emerges.”1 Spaces of oral histories are central to my work. This piece was inspired by the timeless barbershop posters I find all over Harlem, and by the safety zones, educational spaces and playful social realms that black barbershops provide. I want to catalyze such a space through my work. 1. Kobena Mercer, “Black Hair/Style Politics,” new formations 3 (Winter 1987): 115.

Profile for The Studio Museum in Harlem

Studio magazine (Winter/Spring 2015)  

Studio is the Studio Museum in Harlem's magazine, published twice a year and distributed free of charge to museum members and visitors. In a...

Studio magazine (Winter/Spring 2015)  

Studio is the Studio Museum in Harlem's magazine, published twice a year and distributed free of charge to museum members and visitors. In a...