It’s a mid-July afternoon at Bushwick’s Myrtle Avenue. The above-the-ground J and M trains are racing each other in production of industrial noise and delivery and/or removal of the peoples of Bushwick. A pollo truck in the nearby shade has just reached this season’s top level of sale of Colombian chicken. People are walking, bumping into each other, buying fruit flavored ice cones, cheap jeans and used electronics, their talk is melting into a chant… A hipster chick on a bike wearing shorts causes a small revolution among the topless bodega guys playing domino in the shade. A large white SUV, windows down, just stopped at the red light, proudly provides its addition to the general summer sticky craziness on Myrtle Avenue and it feels like entire Bushwick just started to vibrate in the rhythm of latin pop. The lights turn green, the engine roars, driving god knows where, uncovering a young Parisian photographer Axel, who just for a second, overpowered by the heat on a camping chair, closes his eyes behind his trendy Raybans; Canon 5D Mark II left rested on his lap. His hip assistant Ryan is just talking to an old guy who lives 2 blocks away on Broadway. Axel took a photograph of the guy only a couple of minutes ago.
Axel has been making portraits of the Bushwick people on a white background for a couple of days now. White background isolates each single portrayed model from the summer intensity of Myrtle Avenue. Suddenly, every single feature, every single thought, feeling and a unique story of each person portrayed by Axel talks to you from a photo in its quiet, but intense presence.
Axel shakes hands with the old guy who then melts back into the Bushwick everydayness like he just hasn’t been placed on a stage alone to tell his story and tell it over and over forever on Axel’s photograph.
Axel is a French photographer who came to New York years ago to pursue what he is best at – portrait photography and to enjoy the bitter-sweet life of a freelancer. Soon he discovered Bushwick, which became his home, inspiration, very own private third world and a melting pot bursting with creative energy. In July, he had a simple idea to portrait Bushwick in its ugly beauty, which soon led to a bigger project than one would imagine. Axel is currently preparing a photo-exhibit and a book to be published.
Stay tuned to Bushwick Daily for more about the development of this extraordinary project.