Colin Todd, Parks and Portraits in Manhattan

Digital photography
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Colin Todd is an artist who lives and works in New York, NY. He was born and raised in a small town in Louisiana where received his BFA of Fine Arts from Louisiana Tech University in 2006. He then migrated to north to receive his MFA of Photography/Transmedia in Syracuse University in 2009. He has published and exhibited his work internationally with shows at the Masur Museum of Art in Louisiana, Skulpturenpark in Berlin, University of Georgia, RIT School of Art and Rochester Contemporary Arts Gallery in Rochester, NY, as well as the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, NY.

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About ‘Parks and Portraits’:

The series is an homage to street photography and New York City. All the photos are taken in Manhattan in or near the public parks they have.

The notion that parks are a respite from the busy city life intrigued me. When Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux generated the plans for Central Park, it was conceived around the idea that there would be ‘separate circulation’ spaces for pedestrians to stroll and lose themselves in the park’s landscape architecture.

Borrowing from Debord’s ‘Theory of the Dérive’ this series navigates in and out of Manhattan’s parks highlighting chance encounters with strangers passing by as the photographer moves to the next park. Within the parks, the photographs depict a landscape void of almost any sign of the city, with the trees and winding paths acting barriers against the bustling grid of New York.

The people found in the landscapes of the park are always at a distance, allowing for the luxury of space and hinting at voyeurism, while the portraits outside of the park are close, acknowledging the camera and in turn, the viewer. There is an interplay of confrontation and voyeurism from image to image, though all chance encounters of strangers upon the photographer’s path.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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