One of the photographers I was most taken with recently in NY was Russell Frederick, who has his work currently on display on the streets of DUMBO as part of the Exploring Brooklyn exhibit that's being shown alongside The Brooklyn Fence. One is immediately struck by the beauty, honesty and directness of Frederick's work. In an age when everyone's looking for the next new gimmick to showcase their portraiture, be it innovative lighting, exotic locale or advanced photoshop skills, Russell sticks to the age old essentials of camera, film and subject. They're all he needs to consistently provide us with stop in your tracks portraiture that make us want to study every detail portrayed in the photograph, and wonder about the subject whose life they reflect.
For the most part his subjects are posed, yet remain very much involved in their everyday lives, aware of the photographer's presence but continued to be engaged in the environment that is so much a part of who they are. And we see them in every situation that life throws our way: the good, the bad, those truly memorable that survive us throughout our years, and those that are momentary, frivolous, lost to us if not for the miracle of the photograph. Frederick gives us reason to pause, focus and reflect at the wonder and challenges of their lives... as well as our own. You can't ask more of any portrait.