There's a new gallery in Austin, Texas. B. Hollyman Gallery is opening their third show on June 4th, 2011, with Texan photographer (and aCurator favourite) Jo Ann Santangelo. Her series 'Walking the Block' is a collection of black and white photographs documenting the LGBT community of New York City's Christopher Street. Jo Ann worked on this project for close to two years, shooting at night.
From the gallery's Q & A:
What were your intentions at the beginning of this project?
"I didn't have any intentions; it was pure curiosity, the project started pretty organically. One evening, a fellow classmate and I went to Christopher Street in search of Damion, a homeless transgender teenager I had been hanging out with, and passed Chi Chiz bar. The sidewalk scene in front of Chi Chiz was something I had never witnessed before. My friend and I hung out in and outside of Chi Chiz for the rest of the night. After a while, one of the ladies asked if we were cops, saying our presence was making some of them nervous. I admitted we were photo students and I was looking for one homeless trans kid, and she replied, "Well, we all aren't homeless." I said, "I know, that is why I'm here...I don't mean any harm." Qwana replied, "I know. That is why you are still here."
For some reason, they allowed me to not only take their photos, but welcomed me into their family. Night after night I went back down to Christopher Street."
How did the project transform along the way?
"As I changed from curious on-looker to an insider my only intention was to document. It was a privilege and honor to be accepted into this community. I wanted others to see them as I did. Not just as a bunch of transgender sex workers and male escorts walking the block, but as human beings, as individuals."
All images © Jo Ann Santangelo
B. Hollyman's current exhibition is from another aCurator fave, Walker Pickering