New York-based photographer Joseph O’Neill, whose work has appeared in U.S. Embassies In Muscat, Oman and Riga, Latvia, will present his work at a new show in the Phoenix Gallery on New York City’s West Side.
Inspired by Eugene Atget’s style of capturing the simplicities of everyday life, and Man Ray’s unique combination of photographic realism and artistic surrealism, O’Neill’s work captures elements of New York City that are urban and industrial in tone. Rather than trying to make things beautiful, he seeks the deeper truth beneath the first impression. “I simply don’t accept the limited view of the first look,” he says. “When I take a photograph, I never know what I will find. But if I’m quiet; if I’m patient; if I let the subject do the talking; I nearly always discover something—a story that wants to be told.”
With his camera, O’Neill looks to illuminate things that the are easily overlooked.”I use my lens to look at details, offering a play of reflection, light, and shadow that happens naturally when someone is walking past the same building looking it up and down,” he says. “My lens attempts to freeze that moment when a viewer first notices something unique but might not have time to stop and take proper note.”
Shooting in black-and-white, O’Neill isolates subtle details of texture, of light, of space. “I found that I could focus a viewer of my work into the eyes of a subject, to perhaps allow those viewers to look as differently upon the world in which they lived as I might,” he says. “I noticed objects and scenes that were obscure before, and made me realize I had been missing large parts of the world around me.” O’Neill’s black-and-white photography earned him an Honorable Mention at last year’s Monochrome Awards in the Abstract category.
Urban Abstract marks a return to the Phoenix Gallery for O’Neill, whose work has been seen at the venue on multiple occasions. The Gallery previously displayed his work in December 2016 as part of its Holiday Benefit, and in the spring prior.
Urban Abstract will run from March 1 to March 25 at the Phoenix Gallery, 548 W. 28th St., 10001. Joseph O’Neill is available for interviews or for private viewings of his work. Please call 212-226-8711 or email Joeiamone@yahoo.com for more information.