What a brilliant idea! Last week we published an open call on our Facebook page addressed to all Bushwick artists to send us their portfolio websites. Every week we will pick one artist whose art will make our Facebook cover. It’s a win win for everybody. You get exposure and we won’t get bored of our Facebook cover!
Honestly, we weren’t quite prepared for the large number of amazing portfolios we received! Bushwick photographer Johnny Panessa caught our eye immediately. Naturally, part of the reason was that we are photo junkies here (even though the call is open to all sorts of visual artists), and also because Johnny’s photographs show our beloved hood a little bit differently than we are used to seeing it. Johnny Panessa has the fresh eye of a frequent traveler while he masterly captures publicly intimate moments of this neighborhood’s diverse inhabitants. He is travelling in Portugal as we speak. “It’s just easier to make photos when on the road seeing things fresh. There’s so much going on in the streets…” we agree with Johnny who moved to Bushwick in 2005.
Johnny Panessa is team Nikon, and shoots with D800 and the D80 with a couple of Nikkon prime lenses. “I tend to use the 85mm when walking around because it puts the subject at the perfect focal length of being right across the street. That way the photo can be a little more natural where subject is not feeling my presence,” says Johnny about his selection of gear.
Johnny says that he has never had bad a experience shooting on Bushwick streets. To the contrary, he has always been able to create a friendly connection with all sorts of people.