Jamel Shabazz: City Metro

December 8th, 2018 -  March 23rd, 2019 // Galerie Bene Taschen, Cologne

Galerie Bene Taschen is pleased to present the new exhibition City Metro by New York photographer Jamel Shabazz (*1960 in Brooklyn), opening on December 8, 2018. Some 30 works, created since the early 1980s, show a different side of the "Big Apple" beyond the prestigious avenues and dazzling Broadway. In the spirit of street photography, Shabazz's works document passengers on the popular New York transit system, capturing their fashion, moods, and travelling companions.

As New York's lifeline, the transit system connects all of the city's districts and residents. Nowhere else is there such an immediate meeting of the different nationalities and cultures of the "melting pot" – an aspect which has drawn the native New Yorker to the stations and trains of the subway time and again to create key works. Some of them, such as “Rush Hour” (1988), have long since become iconic images. With the camera as a constant companion and always close to the action, Shabazz succeeds in capturing images that document the sociology and history of the city. As early as the 1980s, Shabazz recorded the city's mood of crisis, brought about by crack cocaine and drug crime, and the changes in the social fabric that accompanied it. Throughout the 1990s and 2000s into the present, he has traced the development of the city on its trains and buses with his distinctive photographic aesthetic...

Press release