Jacket, Damon, Denali
I received a nice email today from someone I photographed on Haight a few weeks ago. I never really followed up on my entry from 4 months ago.
Part of the reason I waited 4 months before photographing the homeless on Haight again was because I was unsure of my project and its purpose. I felt like taking photos of them would be exploitative. After the second time around, my thoughts were much clearer.
I find that there is a certain feeling about them, living in a world with no time constraints and minimal anxiety. They don’t feel the need to fake smile at the camera and aren’t ashamed of their appearance. They don’t feel the need to constantly please others. Many social mannerisms become redundant when no one really cares. They are just comfortable with who they are.
I think the reason they fascinate me is because I am a little envious of them. I remember backpacking in the woods of Georgia for 2 months and the feeling of not knowing or caring what the time or day was or what I looked like or if I wore the same muddy pants a week in a row. It felt like freedom. And every year I grow further away from that.
They understand the true bohemian lifestyle. I think it’s amusing how often I hear young people dream of the wanderlust “bohemian” lifestyle where they can travel the world sleeping in white Free People dresses and freckling their skin in Tuscany with their euro boyfriend. I find that on Haight they are very down to earth with their expectations and place value on the self-discovery and expression. And while in some aspects it may seem cowardly to turn away from the hard and conventional way of life that the other 98% of us follow, it is done with bravery.
Life is becoming utterly chaotic again… and yet that feels reassuring?
Across the Universe, 2011
Keep digging up old art