• Photography (MFA)

    Nathan Bett

    Learning to Disappear

    When I moved from Detroit to New York City, I had the idea that I would follow in the footsteps of my favorite golden-age street photographers. So romantic were my heroes of old, with their range finders and ability to disappear in plain sight. But I soon came to feel that that golden age was dead and gone.

    It seemed that after the super-proliferation of cameras embedded in mobile phones, Urban America’s love of the on-the-street image was over. When I ventured out with my camera, I found hostility, annoyance, and sneers. This series uses digital compositing techniques to create a hyper-real depiction of this sentiment. The images portray scenes in which the photo’s subject meets the viewer’s gaze directly and somewhat confrontationally. In the era of social media, people have become increasingly conscious of how and when their image is disseminated. The series explores the new social landscape.