Monday, October 27, 2008

Jon Oliver's Documentary Portrait Project Along 110th

110th & Columbus 82, originally uploaded by jonoliver.
Looking for ways to practice his photography, particularly shooting portraits on the street, Harlem resident Jon Oliver was sitting on a bench along Central Park North and noticed the wide range of people walking by when it occurred to him, these people would be the subjects of his new project.

What followed, on September 7, 2008 at the corner of Broadway and 110th, was the beginning of a documentary portrait series featuring photographs of people shot on the streets of Harlem. One day a week since, Jon has taken his camera and, stopping at each avenue as he works his way east across 110th, stopped to photograph people. 110th and Broadway, Amsterdam, Columbus, Manhattan Ave, Central Park West, Adam Clayton Powell Blvd, and his latest from Lenox Ave each have their own set on his Flickr page.

110th & Lenox 98, originally uploaded by jonoliver.
Taken as a whole, the photos represent an absolutely beautiful cross section of the neighborhood, each photograph silently engaging you as your mind searches for a connection between the the person you see and the person they are. No doubt the series of photos will be a welcome addition the archive collections of any number of community institutions.

Jon told NYC The Blog that 2/3rd to 3/4th of the people he asks to photograph say no, but that some "are really encouraging and enthusiastic about what I'm doing and there are a few people that, against my prejudgments, are really enthusiastic about being photographed."

An exhibition of the photographs might be forthcoming, if the photographer can find a very affordable way to have the photos -a hundred plus at this point- framed, as he has no interest in selling the photos.

You can view the photos in sets here at Jon's Flickr, where he will continue to add a new set every week as he walks east across Harlem along 110th.

110th & Columbus 78, originally uploaded by jonoliver.

110th & Lenox 132, originally uploaded by jonoliver.

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