A boy does a backflip on a mattress in a lot in Brooklyn.
Image: Jamel Shabazz/Getty Images
Born and raised in Brooklyn, Jamel Shabazz first took up photography at the age of 15, and went on to create a peerlessly vibrant record of the city in the 1980s.
Drawing inspiration from the works of socially concerned photographers such as Gordon Parks and Leonard Freed, Shabazz roamed the streets and subways of New York, making both candid and effortlessly posed images of the city’s diverse denizens, especially black and Hispanic communities.
He shot his photos with one eye on the future, hoping to contribute to the recording of history and culture. While his images brim with a timeless sense of humanity, they are also full of highly specific signifiers of New York in the 1980s, from hulking boomboxes to flashy fashion and jewelry to graffiti-covered subways. Read more...