The shot that started it all.
Captured in 2008 with a long lens while in London to run a marathon, this homeless girl started shouting at him when she noticed his camera pointed her way. Instead of walking away embarrassed, he approached the girl and struck up conversation. Getting to know her and her story suddenly sharpened his then amateur photographic focus, and laid the foundation for what would become his capturing of the souls of homeless across Europe and America; giving silent voice to those who are too often passed over. “Here I am. I am human too.”
Reminiscent in my mind of the precious historical portraits of Edward Curtis taken of native american peoples at the turn of the twentieth century – a collection of cultural images with no adequate price tag today – could Lee Jeffries be seen in a similar light one hundred years from now? Or even fifty? Capturing the culture of the homeless is not only fine art powerful on any wall at home or in the office, but as we head into a more enlightened Star Trekesque future, may also one day represent the history of a lost culture, at least according to Captain Picard. A culture that Lee’s powerful images helped to crack open to the world at large, thereby allowing the love and understanding of the masses to pour in and help the healing. Or perhaps human nature will always have this side, homelessness, addiction and mental health issues. However the future pans out, this much I know, Lee’s images stir the soul and touch deeply. Our minds are a better place for having seen them.
Lee’s book, Lost Angels, and limited edition fine art prints are available from Yellow Korner Galleries.
Read Lee’s story at Time Lightbox
Purchase Lee’s fine art at Yellow Korner
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