Window Shopping by James Wakefield

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Influenced by Tom Wood, Diane Arbus, Garry Winogrand, and Robert Frank, among many others, Urban Exposure is twenty-three-year-old photographer James Wakefield’s project to document how people express themselves in England’s cities. A standout in the collection, Wakefield’s “window shopping” set captures people’s reactions to him through the glass of the window and that of the camera. Rather than showing people in a direct manner and a controlled setting, “window shopping” embraces the sense of being so close, yet so distant and allows the view to be obscured by the glass’s reflections of photographer himself and of streams of people on the street. The candid shots interrupt people in the middle of eating, working, and running errands. Even though the subjects are out in public, where anyone could see them, they often react to the presence of the camera and the young male photographer a few feet away. The vast majority stare right into his lens, which produces a dramatic, intimate feeling in the photographs. Many of the subjects seem puzzled, or a little embarrassed to be caught with their mouths full. Some meet the camera with glares and scowls. Others learn in, pose, wave, give thumbs up, or simply smile. The range of reactions draws attention to the individuality of the city people who can be found and turned into art.



Holly is a poet from Kentucky. She grew up first in a Sears house, then on a farm. She studied English and Gender Studies at Mount Holyoke College and moved to Manhattan for love. As an occasional jewelry-maker and museum patron, Holly favors wearable and functional design but is eager to see work that challenges her aesthetics. Read more and connect by visiting her blog, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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