coming down from the high…

my first opening was a total blast! we put our heads together and figured there were about 150 people there over the course of the night. WAY more than we anticipated. Truman’s Gentlemen’s Groomers said it was the best opening they’ve ever had! same goes for me. my friends really came through and supported me. there were people from high school, preschool, a nice contingency from syracuse and even some fellow diabetics! makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, but that might just be high blood sugar. i’ve gotta be honest though, i can’t help but wonder if people came for the photos or the free booze and food. i guess i’ll never know.

easily my favorite part of the evening was standing back and watching my friends from different groups come together over my pictures. even if they were agreeing on how much the work repulsed them, i was happy to see my friends deliberating and conversing about my stuff. my buddy brett (the tall guy wearing the suit that came from hoboken (that sounds like a ‘missed connections’ post, weird)) said he could only stay for 20 minutes, but when i saw him an hour later, he just shrugged and said “what? i made friends”. i love shit like that. it says a lot about you guys. but  it really was the perfect environment in which to meet people. good food. good hooch. lots of cool people. but most importantly a common ground on which to start a conversation: the art. is it presumptuous of me to call it “art”?

i’m especially glad to know that people were actually looking at the work. and i can’t tell you how much i appreciated the honesty and candor with which you guys approached me about my work.

“what happened to the portraits, man?”

“the stuff on the walls is okaaaaaay, but i like the work in your portfolio way more!”

“bro, you really need to calibrate your screen. your colors are totally off.”

duly noted, mon frere.

the truth is, i made my choices based on the surroundings. it’s a nyc business with a nyc attitude, so i wanted to reflect that in the work i put on the walls. it was a good mix of old and new, vertical and horizontal, portraits, scenes and landscapes. i think if i had a completely blank-slate-of-a-gallery in which to display my work, i would do a show based solely on my street portraits. they’re some of my favorites.

speaking of favorites, there were some clear winners in terms of popularity. here are some highlights from the show:

(in no particular order)


kung fu monk

without fail, the first thing people ask me about this picture is “where did you take this?” as though i actually have the funds to travel to another country just to take pictures. for the record, i’m broke as a joke. a really bad joke. this was in freakin’ china town. i always tell people how much i love that place. it’s an endless supply of interesting scenes and weird people. the second thing people ask me about this picture is “was he about to hit you cause you were taking his picture?” upon which i will refer you to my last sentence regarding “weird people”. this is just what he did when i asked for his portrait. then he sold me an umbrella.


jay street

no matter how many times people have seen this street view in movies or other pictures they still seem to take a shining to this one. so do i. i think it’s the pedestrian in stride that sets it apart for me…and the fiery reflection on the cobblestone street…..and the bridge….and the light.


barn scene

this piece actually sold. hooray! it was one of the last pieces in my portfolio and somebody managed to find it and like it enough to take it home. selling this one piece made the effort of putting the entire show together totally worth it. word of the day: validation.

Picture 41

no title

no. this picture is not posed. i wish it was, though.  i felt terrible. this guy was so distraught that he didn’t even notice me shooting 15 frames of him pulling his own hair out. i think the draw of this photo is that everyone has been here. no light at the end of the tunnel. wondering what to do next. is there even a “next”? this picture somehow captures that emotion/mindset and maintains its connection with people because you can’t see the poor bastard’s face.


fung wah

this picture was a clear winner. it always is. people just like this picture. is it the composition? the colors? the humor of the moment you realize “holy shit, my bus isn’t coming”? personally, i think it’s just a really simple image. it’s easy to look at but tells a story at the same time. oddly enough, this is one of the first pictures i ever considered a success. summer 2007. the summer of sanford. the start of it all. for the whole story refer to my oct. 11th post.

since that summer, things have really come full circle. and thanks to the support of my friends, i’ve stuck with photography. if you’re actually reading this right now, you’re one of those friends. no joke. you’re the reason i compulsively check my blog hits and website traffic to see if anyone actually gives a shit. cause if you guys didn’t, who would?

seriously, thanks.


~ by jacobbmurphy on November 7, 2009.

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