"DMT...DMT." said the EMT
I knew. I'd seen it. Just a month before, my neighbor, the guy on the other side of our wall, took off his clothes, destroyed his apartment, walked out to his patio, through the gate, onto the ledge, and, looking up, extended his hands and walked off the edge. I walked out of the building an hour after it happened. He'd been banging the shit out of our walls to loud music, but it was DTLA and just at the edge of "normal". I had no idea he'd jumped. Now a broken body inside a taped-off box. Someone's son. A sister's older brother. Our neighbor saw him do it, while having coffee looking out his window. It was fucked up.
DMT made its way through the city for a couple months.
On a standard evening walk, I noticed him, pacing frantic circles in front of the Eastern Columbia building; a gorgeous Wizard of Oz emerald green marble and gold mosaic at his feet. He darted into the street making wide circles at the center of Broadway and 9th, looking up into the air, imploring people to see what he saw. A woman had to physically shake him off her body and run half a block to escape him as he ripped off his jacket, tore off his belt and swung it in circles above his head, ultimately stripping down to his underwear before an ambulance and cops came in force to detain.
The young cop's face. The EMT trying to explain. The dreamer lost in fantasia. Affected by a force radiating through the city. The old cop in back looked at me and said, "It's rough catching people at a down point in life." I didn't have a choice. We were connected.
They saw something. We'd been touched by it.
FTR, this recollection is not supported by medical/scientific testing or verified documentation.
I’m a Street Photographer from DTLA who believes that capturing truth requires the absence of me.
I’ve slept, worked, and lived in the streets of DTLA all my life.
Most recently, I lived in the center of the city, at 7th and Spring, and shot every single day for 8 years.
I shoot with at 23mm fixed lens, so I have to get close to my subjects. I’m not a sniper. I believe that if I can’t get close enough to catch the shot, I don’t deserve it.
My work is candid. My shots are unposed. My goal is to simply be present and distinctly attentive to the moments swirling around me with the single intention to capture any of an unfathomable amount of impossible alignments that go unseen every day.
To pull from my Genesis: We are stars. Expelled & dying flashes of light. Some named, held in awe. Some ignored, most unseen. An eternal cycle of peerless moments; the ephemeral beauty of simply being, burning, and dying before each other’s eyes.
Many of us go through life questioning our value. I hope that my work captures the fact that you are immense, powerful, and perfect every moment you are alive.
Thank you for being here.
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