Photographs by Jonathan Higbee cast a fresh light on New York street life
Many photographers have documented the streets of New York over the years, with artists like Joel Meyerowitz, Bruce Gilden, Mary Ellen Mark, Elliot Erwitt, and Brandon Stanton each providing a different and unique take on the Big Apple.
Sometimes, indeed, it feels like everything's been done: every angle covered, every perspective covered. And then someone new comes along and blows away all that complacency. That person is Jonathan Higbee.
In the words of London street photographer Matt Stuart: "Higbee is visually redescribing New York, in a language that I have never seen or heard there before, and shines a bright new light on the capital of street photography". Now, finally, Higbee's long-awaited first monograph, Coincidences, is being released by Anthology Editions.
The images it contains depict the interplay between New Yorkers often lost in their own worlds: moving through crowded intersections, past street signs and advertising billboards, and more; as they hustle to get to work, home or their next appointment.
A dancer performs on a stage of trash, graffiti unfurls from a backpack, a father and son hide their faces with cotton candy, and a giant walks the streets of the city. Such fleeting juxtapositions capture the wit, joy and surrealism of everyday life in an often-chaotic metropolis.
These images may be shot "in the moment", but there's a lot of work and process behind them. Higbee stakes out each location and lingers for minutes to hours— sometimes returning for days to get his desired shot.
He's also worked in Berlin, Paris and London, but writes: “I don’t think this body of work could have happened anywhere besides New York. Something about the city’s nature—that mix of commercialism, hustle, and the 24-hour lifestyle—all combines to make a very New York story."
Coincidences is available for pre-order from 8 October at Anthologyeditions.com.