The Culture Crush

Disappearing Witness

by Andre D. Wagner

“Sometimes it feels like we’re living in a comic book; this whole world is just a comic book and we’re just living in it.” So said documentary photographer Andre D. Wagner the first time he came to The Culture Crush studio. We talked about the world, about New York, and certainly about how his pictures not only told their own individual stories, but about how we might conjure up something more specific by doing a special edit for the magazine.

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 "It kind of makes you think about characters and New York is full of characters, and inside all of these characters you can add on social commentary just because of how New York looks, the people that are around, the way that light shines through one block and the next block will be completely dark, you know?"

"It kind of makes you think about characters and New York is full of characters, and inside all of these characters you can add on social commentary just because of how New York looks, the people that are around, the way that light shines through one block and the next block will be completely dark, you know?"

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 "This city just takes so much out of you. I could easily walk like twenty miles a day and not get bored. Even though people are at work or going to work or commuting or going to school, there’s always these moments or these in-between things that happen, and to be out there in the mix of that just feels so good because you’re a witness. You’re like, ‘I want some of that! I want that! I want this! I’ll take that!’ You’re just doing it all day."

"This city just takes so much out of you. I could easily walk like twenty miles a day and not get bored. Even though people are at work or going to work or commuting or going to school, there’s always these moments or these in-between things that happen, and to be out there in the mix of that just feels so good because you’re a witness. You’re like, ‘I want some of that! I want that! I want this! I’ll take that!’ You’re just doing it all day."

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 "So there’s always this contrast of reality and things that aren’t so true, and being in the mix of that, especially when you’re going through your own things, personally, it affects you. Especially just being able to have photography as an outlet to speak and show how I’m feeling right now, and these are the people who are acting it out for me."

"So there’s always this contrast of reality and things that aren’t so true, and being in the mix of that, especially when you’re going through your own things, personally, it affects you. Especially just being able to have photography as an outlet to speak and show how I’m feeling right now, and these are the people who are acting it out for me."

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 "Even though you might have this central theme happening in the image, you still get so much more happening. I think it adds to this feeling: we have this couple, this girl is holding this guy’s hand and the guy is looking the other way and it feels like such an intimate moment but there’s all this other stuff happening in the background.  It adds to this feeling of how you can just dissect an image, where it’s just these little people in the mix of this big thing, but we’re still on this little island and you can keep breaking it down but it’s a spiral, where do you take it? I like the perspective of these images in the city because they show these little intimate things or something about race or class or culture, but in the grand scheme of New York too, its own kind of vignette."

"Even though you might have this central theme happening in the image, you still get so much more happening. I think it adds to this feeling: we have this couple, this girl is holding this guy’s hand and the guy is looking the other way and it feels like such an intimate moment but there’s all this other stuff happening in the background.

It adds to this feeling of how you can just dissect an image, where it’s just these little people in the mix of this big thing, but we’re still on this little island and you can keep breaking it down but it’s a spiral, where do you take it? I like the perspective of these images in the city because they show these little intimate things or something about race or class or culture, but in the grand scheme of New York too, its own kind of vignette."

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