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‘Residents of New York’ Captures NYC’s Homeless

Curators’ Corner

‘Residents of New York’ Captures NYC’s Homeless

Homeless people are inextricably part of the New York cityscape – a reality its more fortunate residents have learned to accept.  Some hand over a dollar and others offer to buy a sandwich, but the majority simply ignore and pretend the homeless don’t exist.

In his new exhibit, ‘Residents of New York,’ local photographer Andres Serrano captures the plight of the homeless with powerful portraits shot during the harsh winter months of January and February.

Serrano told New England Public Radio program Here and Now that his work will hopefully change New Yorkers’ hardened views about a segment of the population so often marginalized and ignored.

“More than once, as I was photographing someone on the street, a passerby would come by and put money in their cup. And one girl that I was photographing, she said to me, ‘You know, that man, he sees me every day, and he’s never given me any money, but because you’re taking my picture, he put a dollar in there.’ To me, that meant that, you know, yeah, these people, it’s all of a sudden, you recognize them as individuals. You’re not paying attention to them, but the fact that I’m paying attention makes you pay attention to them, and makes you want to do something,” the artist said.

Serrano’s photography is a public exhibition centralized around Washington Square Park, including a vast selection inside the W 4th Street subway station and on LaGuardia Place.  Other photographs are displayed on phone booths around the city.

The photographs have been running since mid-May and will finish Sunday, June 15.