The New York street photographer Jamel Shabazz is the subject of a new photobook, which brings together imagery from the 1980s to the present day. From the streets of Brooklyn to Europe and Africa, Shabazz's work is inclusive, compassionate and timeless.
Pieces of a Man collects 25 years of the artist's work. It includes photographs of New York’s Harlem style, Miami’s South Beach gangsters, elderly folk going to Church and young kids playing in a park. The photos are accompanied by writings from Paul M. Faber, a scholar of American and Urban Studies.
Shabazz was born in Brooklyn in 1960. At age 15, he traded his graffiti spray paint can for his mother’s camera and began depicting his friends on the borough's streets.
As a professional photographer, Shabazz's work has come to illustrate social, political and ideological trends through vibrant and powerful depictions of people. His work abounds with poets, writers, athletes, mothers, fathers, kids, musicians, religious leaders, workers and everyday heroes, all parts of the city's tissue. Everyday life is at the core of Shabazz's work, who shot the youth of South Beach for Jocks&Nerds 10.
Discussing his work, Jamel Shabazz claims that his “goal is to contribute to the preservation of the world history and culture.” He has been displayed in numerous exhibitions and published several books of his work.
Paul M. Farber claims that “the pieces of [Shabazz's] lifelong artistic practice cohere across time through long-established modes of connection, from encounter to encounter, image to image, and project to project. In short, through his use of photography, Shabazz shapes history.”