Phil is one of the owners of a hip hop clothing store called Freshman Clothing at 204 Grand River in the Harmony Park district of Detroit.
Which is the reason why I believe American school children should be obligated to take a Sex and Relationship Education course titled "Everything That Glitters isn't Gold, and Everything that's Wet Isn't Water."
What does that have to do with this photo. Nothing, really. The thought just occurred to me earlier today and I thought it was really, really funny. I wanted to take the nearest opportunity to immortalize it on the internet because I'm a egotistical bastard, the saying is sure to catch on and I want to be properly credited as its progenitor.
Back to my man Phil. I stopped through his store for the first time a couple of days ago. I'd noticed it before, but had never taken the time to stop through.
Since I was primarily aware of the store as a clothier, I was surprised to walk in and see not t-shirts and jeans, but an impressive collection of art on the walls.
Phil explained that both he and his business partner were artists and they had decided to display some of their work in the store. Phil had just began experimenting with a new style of painting and wanted to give it a public debut.
That said, his new work almost made him pass on being photographed that day. He wanted to have me come back on another day when he was "clean." His attire at the time was splattered with paint from his new pieces.
"Phil, I look at those splatters like the wrinkles on a well-aged face: they are irrefutable marks of your development and experience. We should shoot with it on."
That's the movie script version of what I said. The real version had more awkward pauses and fewer words that made sense.
Nonetheless, he was convinced. Thankfully because I think it adds a lot to the portrait. Much in the same way that people like Phill add alot to the city.
See, Phil is the exact kinda person that that led me to start this photo project. Murderers, corrupt mayor(s) and semi-literate, super belligerent city council people grab headlines but they do not define Detroit. Ambitious, multi-talented folks like Phil are the heart of the city.
And much like a literal heart they tend to be obscured from view.
I'm doing my best Ben Carson...
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