What story would you tell if you were given a blank space to create? We partnered with URBN FRESH to see what would happen when ten rising photographers were given just that. Each photographer chose a unique Peerspace location to tell a different story. After a month of keeping these photos under-wraps, we displayed them for the first time in a pop-up gallery: Peerspace Rising: A Photo Exhibit.
Take a look at the inspiring photos and the powerful stories each photographer chose to tell.
1. “Heavy is the Heart(s)” by Mark Clennon
Explore Mark’s location: Artist Loft with Skyline View
Mark Clennon is an New York-based photographer, creator of URBNFRESH, and co-creator of the NYC Shooter’s Union community. “Heavy is the Heart(s)”, featuring models Marsha Larose and Jaidus, is an examination of the anxiety that a partner feels when their loved one is going through an internal struggle. There is nothing the partner can say or do to help besides simply “being present” to hold and support their partner through their tough time. Stylist: Sydney Paige
2. “Righteous Indignation” by Laurent Chavelier
Explore Laurent’s location: Bushwick Photo Studio
Laurent Chevalier is a photographic artist based in Brooklyn, New York. With his eye of constant observation, he focuses his work on the visual representations and stories of Black people. “Righteous Indignation” explores the manifestations of the multiplicity of feelings experienced by black people when confronted with the American flag and the many ideals it embodies.
3. “Bloom” by Lauren Cowart
Explore Lauren’s location: Windowed Warehouse Studio
Lauren Cowart is a portrait, lifestyle, wedding and event photographer from North Carolina. Her current mission is to capture unique moments, highlight individual beauty, and present storytelling images with a dramatic flair. This collection of portraits is a celebration of the vivacious beauty that erupts when we are able to confidently embrace our own unique artistry. Model: Nell Coleman
4. Untitled by Mark Aghatise
Explore Mark’s location: Greenpoint Photo Studio
Mark Aghatise is a London-born, New York-based photographer interested in the intersections of performance, repetition, and movement. Mark wanted to celebrate the presence and communion that came about through photographing these women. He says, “These images merely serve as a record of ideas, laughter, and a space that was ours.”
5. “Divine Feminine” and “Hood Masculinity” by Elizabeth Wirja
Explore Elizabeth’s Location: Light-Filled Artist Loft
Elizabeth is a graphic designer and photographer originally from Jakarta, Indonesia. “Divine Feminine” is the embodiment of that energy that is the beginning to all creation. To tune in to this energy means an unlimited source of creative ideas and change. “Hood Masculinity” is the exploration of hyper masculinity that exists in black communities; especially men who are not allowed to express their emotions and how it manifests into aggressive aggregates. Elizabeth wanted to show that aspect and the resilience that comes from these places.
6. “I Find it Hard to Say” by Daniel Randall
Explore Daniel’s Location: Daylight Studio
Daniel T. Randall is a photographer and content creator. Nurtured in Brooklyn, New York for the better part of 24 years he is self-taught in his field. He says, “All too often life has its way of sullying our will to keep, keepin’ on. ‘I Find it Hard to Say’ is a visual reminder of that. From where I am to wherever you are.”
7. Untitled by Jarrod Anderson
Explore Jarrod’s location: Newly Renovated Photo Studio
Jarrod Anderson is a Florida native currently living in New York. He is a creative that specializes in capturing visual stories through photography with his primary focus being portraits, lifestyle, and fashion. This series is for the viewers interpretation.
8. “Beauty in Black” by Dee Williams
Explore Dee’s Location: Unique Photo Studio
Dee Williams is a photographer and capturer of color by the name of #ShotbyDee. She’s changing the standards of beauty one portrait at a time. “Beauty in Black” is a tribute to the captivating allure of Black women. Dee says, “Our style, voice, and ideas are often copied, stolen, watered down, or repackaged. But, the authenticity of our duplicated essence is only subpar. As you glance at these photos note that the our carefree spirits are the highest form of resistance to the status quo.”
9. “Sista Sista” by Travis Matthews
Explore Travis’ Location: Storefront Studio
Travis Matthews is from Georgetown, Guyana, South America. He lives by the motto “Create to inspire.” He shoots mostly Black women to show them in a positive way and erase all the negative stereotypes.“Sista Sista” shows the togetherness of two sisters. Despite the change of outfits they are still one.
10. “Afro-futurism” by Imani Dennison
Explore Imani’s Location: Two Floor Photo Studio
Inspired by big city urban life, Imani’s interest in film photography grew into a love for moving images, better known as Cinema. “Afro-Futurism, a Love Story” is an exploration of Black love and intimacy through fashion.
These photos were showcased to the public for the first time in a gallery exhibit in New York City. See photos from the pop-up event here.