the Hustler (from the series World of One)
Archival Pigment Print from 35mm Negatives
24″ x 44 1/4″ inches | edition of 5
This is what it feels like to live in New York City. Everybody is somebody here (or at least trying to be somebody), so nobody gives a shit who you are. To survive here, you have to be constantly moving forward in life. If you’re not giving it your all, then you’re falling behind. At least that’s how this city feels to me, and I’ve crafted this image to reflect those feelings.
I wanted to make this picture to remind myself to move on, whenever I find myself suffering from bad luck. Because it is often at those times that I find it hardest to keep myself motivated and focused on my goals. While good and bad luck strike us equally at random, the only way we get anywhere is by willing ourselves to push forward – just as the figure in white here struggles on, despite being totally ignored by all those passing him.
Unfortunately, this will be the last image I get to share in 2014. This is sad, because I’ve got three shoots’ worth of undeveloped rolls sitting in my freezer, waiting for funding. This year, my rate of production has dropped dramatically, by about 50% in comparison with the last couple of years. But there’s a saying in Chinese: Sometimes one has to rest in order to find the strength to travel further. That’s how I’m going to think about this year, as I have every intention of being much more prolific in 2015.
A very special thanks to my assistants on this shoot! Dave Shi, thanks as always for pushing the right buttons, and Jenn Boudreau, thanks for your beautiful behind the scenes photos!!!
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Preparing the camera. (photo by Jenn Boudreau)
Dave was really excited to be on set. (photo by Jenn Boudreau)
Preparing the focus plain. (photo by Jenn Boudreau)
Posing for pictures, and ignoring the reality around me. (photo by Jenn Boudreau)
the Hustler is dedicated to the LHS class of 2004. Thank you all for your words of encouragement and support! I was both humbled and overwhelmed to see how many of you have seen and/or follow my work. I promise to keep making you guys proud!!!!