Street photographer and Kingsborough Community College alumnus Allen Pierre
documents the beautiful, often unnoticed moments of life in New York.
ON VIEW: OCTOBER 11, 2017 - NOVEMBER 8, 2017
ARTIST'S TALK: WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2017, 11:00 am @ KAM
On behalf of the Kingsborough Art Museum, I welcome you to Love in the Streets: Photographs by Allen Pierre. Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Allen Pierre came to the United States in 2002, later attending Kingsborough Community College and Brooklyn College. He is primarily a street photographer, although much of his work cannot be tautly tethered to that somewhat limited term. While street photographers are generally seen as urban flâneurs, or strolling spectators aloofly recording modern life, Pierre often interacts with his subjects, relaxing them in a manner that allows their true inner and outer beauty to reveal itself before his lens.
By photographing many of his subjects against the open sky, Pierre creates street portraiture, elevating the standard parameters of the genre. While captured spontaneously at Brooklyn festivals such as Afropunk and Photoville, his photographs paradoxically exude an idealized glamour, a stylish nobility one might expect from more formal studio portraits.
In other photographs, we see the streets of Brooklyn, Harlem, and Midtown Manhattan through the photographer’s nuanced, poetic vision, a sympathetic unveiling of the little details, the momentary dramas, that many New Yorkers briskly stride by without a nanosecond of thought. While his work is certainly aesthetically powerful, it also evokes that most human of emotions, empathy—compelling us to identify with, and imagine narratives about, his subjects and the situations in which they find themselves. This exhibition—his first—truly is about the joy, dignity, strength, and love that Pierre sees every day in the faces and lives of those he meets.
Free of cynicism, Allen Pierre’s photographs convey the love he feels for his city and for those within it. Revealing the wonder of existence and the deepest truths nestled within the simplest moments, Pierre strives towards that highest aspiration of art: to evoke within us the ineffable beauty of being. As you make your way through the exhibition, it becomes clear that these are our neighbors, our neighborhoods, and that the beauty he records surrounds us all, daily.
It is our great pleasure to share his photographs with the Kingsborough community.
Brian E. Hack, Ph.D.
Kingsborough Art Museum