South Bronx Special : 2011 - 2014
Drawing inspiration from the South Bronx by David Uberti for the Columbia Journal Review (CJR) 2015.
Osaretin Ugiagbe shoots from the hip. The Nigerian-born photographer holds a camera near his waist as he navigates 149th Street in the South Bronx, snapping photos of unknowing passersby mid-sentence, mid-purchase, mid-chew. Crowds on the snow-coated corridor thicken as they approach The Hub—a nickname for this part of the neighborhood, which pulses with nail salons, Latin American restaurants, and mobile phone stores. Pedestrians grab onto one another for support as they tiptoe through the lakes of slush and slop at each intersection. Ugiagbe is at once among them but also not; his leisurely gait disguises quick flicks of his wrists and clicks of his camera.
The underlying hypothesis behind Ugiagbe’s style is that capturing candid slices of life would be impossible should he shoot through a viewfinder. His work is more a product of improvisation, as he typically skirts traditional stories with a beginning, middle, and end in favor of whomever or whatever he comes across during walks on his lunch break from administrative work at Lincoln Medical Center. Nearly every day around noon, that’s where you’ll find him. Read article