May 22, 2010

Clothier | Artist

Canon EOS 7D | Canon 35mm f/1.4 | Available Light
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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...

[View the weekdaily blog and meet more of: The People of Detroit ]


Princess Pika said...

Something is lacking from the post but I don't know what.

The People of Detroit said...

Thanks for the feedback, New 2 This

Anonymous said...

Love that lens!

You had me fooled with your "the paint is like the wrinkles on a face" comment. I thought "OK seriously, this dude is TOO smooth. Teach a class. I'll sign up." You seem to have a way with people that I envy. I'm still socially awkward in my imagination.

Again, the pic is dope. I think I can SEE the fact that he was uncomfortable taking it. He doesn't look like he really wanted to. lol His posture is kind of "OK...I guess I'll take a picture."

The People of Detroit said...

Michael, I love it also. Its my everyday walk around now.

Yea, what I said in real-life was pretty close to that. I guess I have a bit of a gift for language.

I thought he was sorta comfortable in this frame! I always try to say something stupid while I'm clicking to get a spontaneous smile.

I kinda asked him to pose at an angle so I could get the DOF to come in and out over his shoulders

A. said...

He looks familiar - I think he went to Michigan and did some work for our dance company back in the day.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for bringing a real perspective to a real city.

Unknown said...

Being bald myself, I can appreciate this photo. The lines and folds and wrinkles and bumps that we all have are mostly obscured by either well groomed or horribly disheveled attentions. This man, Phil, has a great shave and those don't come around all that often. Maybe I missed the point of this picture - but a there is a lot to be said of a clean scalp and such an inviting persona. As always - a moving picture.

I hope you know that your bar is set so high that you had better not knock it down.