When I tell people I work for an online art gallery they typically envision sculpture, painting and mixed media pieces. Photography is a large and amazing part of Zatista’s gallery too, but photographer Brandon Stanton is a different type of photographer than we’re used to. Or is he?
Stanton began taking pictures of strangers in 2010. His initial goal was to photograph 10,000 strangers in New York and learn a bit more about their lives. Not surprisingly, the HONY (Humans of New York) project became much more than that – there are now over 4 million followers of HONY on social media, myself being one of them. I look at posts daily, and I only wish Stanton would post more often. Here’s an example from the HONY Facebook page:
This type of contemporary photography depicts a certain realism. Of course paintings, photographs and mixed media works can also fall under the genre of realism, but to me these photographic images and snippets about the subjects dive deep and paint a vivid picture in an instant, which I find truly amazing. Now, when I walk through downtown San Francisco, Chicago, or even through an airport, I see people in a different way. I picture them as a part of HONY and I imagine what their quotes might be.
The HONY phenomenon has prompted many people start their own forms of HONY, such as Humans of: Sarah Lawrence, Oslo, India, San Francisco, Berlin, Toronto and many more. This doesn’t necessarily make every photographer an artist, or does it? I believe we’re all artists in some way, shape or form.
What do you think? Are these photographs traditional art, or do they convey a different message? You can check out more work from Humans of New York here. Let us know what you think on WallSpin!