“The deepest urge in human nature is the desire to be important.”
“I see you.”
“I am here to be seen.”
– Traditional African greeting / response
Stopping and photographing a stranger in New York City fulfills an essential need for both of us: the need to experience intimacy. It is a kind of intimate relationship that holds us together for a brief moment and then vanishes, only to be held forever in an artifact of pure silver. When I made these portraits in Tompkins Square Park, I used the timeless, 19th century wetplate collodion method. It required a full encounter of nearly twenty minutes. When completed, as our intimacy closed, I hope that each of us parted feeling seen, and both of us left feeling important.