“Whatchu’ think ‘bout life, man?” he asked me. “Is it good or bad?”

“It depends on your perspective,” I said. His eyes widened. “If anything’s certain,” he said, “it’s that it’s uncertain.”
I laughed.
“What you talkin’ about, man?” I asked. He let out a deep breath. “Many of us understand life to be either generous or vengeful. That it rewards you for one thing and punishes you for another."

“Doesn’t it?”

“Nah, man. Life ain’t like that, it don’t work that way. Life don’t punish and it don’t reward neither. It works around you.”
I could not figure out what he meant, and he spoke with a conviction that made me not want to ask.

-Excerpt from Man on the Bench by Nathanael Cox 

This selection of photographs are from an ongoing project about the Southwest section of Brooklyn where I grew up. The work is a meditation on growing up in one of New York City’s most conservative neighborhoods at this crucial juncture in the city's history.

Within small, poetic moments of everyday life, solitary subjects are found lost in contemplative states and are punctuated by quiet, fading landscapes. The images are woven together across different neighborhoods and experiences and are connected not by linear narrative, but emotion. The work stems from a delicate hope and deeper uncertainty for the future of this place and the people who live here. 

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