December 8, 2018

Food for Thought

I had never seriously talked to my photographer friend Evan @efotoguy about photography, so, I asked him to take me to one of his favorite restaurants in Queens, his native borough. Great food and conversation. Evan is not sure if he is an artist or photographer—he knows only that he can’t stop seeing the world through his cameras. That is how he seems to process what happens in life—a camera as a phenomenological mediator. As long as I have known him (almost two decades), he has always been recording his life on his cameras. It’s as if his impetus is to give himself more time to understand what is happening. It wasn’t a coincidence that he captured the moment the second plane hit the World Trade Center. Amid the mob of people trying to get away from the building, Evan aimed his video camera up at the towers and kept it rolling.

When someone has an unstoppable compulsion to do something, whether it’s to paint, sing, write, or photograph, it’s not clear if it’s a blessing or curse. In the era everyone carries a camera at all times, making a living as a photographer seems like a pipe dream. Yet, for Evan, the economic viability isn’t even a question worth asking, because he doesn’t have a choice anyway; he is compelled to keep shooting.

Evan is currently collaborating with his friend on a documentary project called “Disappearing NYC,” a series of short videos of the businesses that are disappearing (available on Facebook). This project too reveals his obsession with documenting what’s happening to him, as if he would be able to make sense of it all in the future by reviewing his work. From this point of view, his future self is his primary audience.

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