The Photographic Journal

Inversion

Essay 147 • Apr 3rd 2017

A wise leader once whispered, "The world is changed: I feel it in the water, I feel it in the earth, I smell it in the air…" (Never mind that this was the opening line from the fictional Elvish queen, Galadriel, in Lord of the Rings.)  It’s a quote that describes my sentiment as I rotated the contact sheet upside down, squinting at the digital thumbnails of Alison in the puddle.  The world is different when it’s upside down.

“Photography for me is my primary form of escapism” is a funny thing to think as I admired the mink coat and top hat of the man that stood in front of me at the check-in line at an hourly motel in the Bronx.  Besides time and location, I rarely plan specifics.  I like to leave room for small doses of chaos.  Granular doses.

The prism cast the red crest of the heart-shaped light over the heart-shaped tub. This room was very much Valentine’s Day forever.  

Days later, the song, Identikit, by Radiohead played as I sat waiting in the subway station.  “Broken hearts make it rain,” reverberated through my headphones and I chuckled to myself.

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James de Leon is a self-taught photographer whose portraits are influenced by the works of David Lynch, Edward Hopper, Phillip Lorca-DiCorcia and Ryan McGinley. The son of Filipino immigrants, he spent his formative years in various Catholic schools in Los Angeles and San Francisco.  He currently resides in Little Italy in NYC.Instagram | Website

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Model: Alison Lee