New York streets never sleep, and they are just as raw, maddening, and wondrous as you’ve heard. Well known Street Art photographer Jaime Rojo cannot resist them.
He’s always been attracted to the street and the uglier the neighborhood, the better. Before Rojo began shooting Street Art in the early 2000s he was known as a photographer of street life and as an urban explorer. After publishing 10,000 of his images of art from the streets on the web over the last 5 years, most people know him strictly for his Street Art photography.
Lucky to have captured some of the most compelling images of pivotal players during the last decade’s Street Art explosion, Rojo’s images now appear in books, magazines, and on over 150 art, design, and culture websites that celebrate this people’s art movement around the world including Juxtapoz, 12 oz Prophet, Arrested Motion, Vandalog, Ecosystem, Wooster, and The Huffington Post.
But there is more on the street than street art.
Untitled. Williamsburg, Brooklyn. May 2011 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
To expand on the Street Art theme, Rojo has been tagging an unrelated image to the end of the parade of Street Art and graffiti images on BSA’s popular “Images of the Week”. It may feature a booming construction site, a pigeon-trainers’ flock swooping low, or two people stealing a kiss on the roof when no one was looking. He hopes these shots give more rich context to help a viewer understand what it’s like to live in this city; a finale that has become known as “The Last Picture”. Some weeks that image garners more inquisitive emails than the rest. “Where was that taken?” “Who are these people?” “How did you get so lucky to get that shot?”
Walk the streets or bike them, a few times a week, 50 weeks a year; That’s one passionate route to seeing the urban world. Climb some walls, get on some roofs, poke through some fences, walk a tunnel, ride a train, you’ll see another city. “The Last Picture” is Jaime’s way of saying, “There is more here to see, a lot more.” Part fine artist, documentarian, and journalist, when Jaime goes out on the streets his eyes are wide open to the abundant stories that develop before him, instantly.
Untitled. Bushwick, Brooklyn. October 2012 (photo © Jaime Rojo)
As Editor of Photography for BSA, Rojo tries to present new stuff with an eye that doesn’t just capture but also communicates. He pushes for a sense of what it’s like to be there at that moment. Many of his photos trigger his own stories about what was happening that day on that block, what the air smelled like, who talked to him and what they said. “The Last Picture” gives you more of the context about what happens a heartbeat and a shutter-click away from some of the most magnificent Street Art shots.
We feel lucky to be able to share some of them here with you.