Subway Portraits – Walker Evans

I understand the desire of Walker Evans to capture pictures of people in a sort of raw state and how he perceived this to be his very own style of art. Certainly taking pictures of unsuspecting individuals on New York City subways allowed him to do exactly that. I’m sure his decision to wait twenty five years to share his photos had much to do with his knowledge that on some level, his photographs were an invasion of the subjects privacy. That being said, his work certainly serves as a documentation of history. While the attire of today’s subway riders has somewhat changed since the 1940’s, the looks on the faces of the commuters are still very much the same. Today, with the use of modern technology, I’m sure it would be much easier to snap a secret photo of an unsuspecting individual, however the immediate consequence if you were to be caught could be pretty awful.

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