NYC: From Beach to Street / Lauren Welles
© Lauren Welles
Moderated by Anna Van Lenten, Half King Photo Series curator
On exhibit are images from two of Lauren Welles’ ongoing photography projects: one about NYC’s streetlife and the other about its Coney Island life. In each, she captures what we expect from an on-the-go, fly-on-the wall practice: those one-off, human exchanges, born of odd juxtapositions, that only a metropolis can yield. That her images also convey wit, compassion, and intimacy are an added delight. As with the best street photography, her pictures suggest that there is a higher order governing the ongoing show of public life. At times this order is humorous in how it pokes fun at our thinly veiled civility, and at times it is corrective in how it reveals our values about who counts for what in the limited physical spaces we share. While firmly grounded, the poetry of Lauren’s street photography floats to us in character, from the faces and bodies she pulls from the crowd.
Welles writes, “As a street photographer, I shoot what catches my eye at the moment, without a larger plan in place. It’s only later on (months or years) that I see themes in my work that could be the basis for a series. I love this city, its endless vibrancy, and polyrhythms. Like good jazz music, or hearty stew, it’s the perfect mixture of ‘this and that.’ Of course, it’s the people here that bring it all to life. I love finding everyday scenes and framing them so that the mix of people, expressions, and rhythms creates a spark, thereby conveying the élan of this city.”
LAUREN WELLES is a freelance photographer and former corporate attorney who left an unfulfilling, 16-year career, to follow her passion for photography. She is attracted to ideas and stories that display our commonalities as people; she believes that, as human beings, we are much more alike than we are different. One of her greatest joys is to make candid photographs of people, in which a single frame can tell a multitude stories.
Her photography has received several awards and has been exhibited at various venues around the world, including: "The Fence" at Photoville, the Museum of the City of New York and Arsenal Gallery Central Park, in New York City; PhotoLeiden, The Netherlands; Gudberg Nerger Gallery, Hamburg, Germany; The Print Space, London; HistoryMiami Museum; and Rayko Photo Center, San Francisco. Her work and interviews have been published in various publications, including the New York Times; La Repubblica; CBS News; The New Yorker; Slate Magazine; Adoir Noire Magazine; Clavoardiendo, Spain; the Phoblographer, Street Photography Magazine, the Candid Frame podcast, and various street photography books. She recently served as a curator for the group photography exhibition, “Greetings from Coney Island” at the Charles P. Sifton gallery in New York City.