Operation: Blackout

Lewy BTM

False DKLT

Noxer DOD

I’m not huge on self-promo, but these days it seems like the only kind of promo is the selfish kind. Besides, hopefully you’ve all been paying attention enough to realize a large part of what I do is to spread the word about what others have been up to. With that said, it is with tremendous pleasure that I’d like to announce the forthcoming release of a self-published mini-book I’ve been working on entitled, “Operation: Blackout” with local NYC-based designer, Patrick Sullivan.

I’ve wanted to produce a document of some kind that allows those who are excited by my work to purchase some sort of physical object to symbolize all the digital efforts I put forth. I didn’t want something hurried and xeroxed, but I also don’t have the resources to publish an official hardbound coffee-table book. So, as I began to receive positive feedback about my photojournalistic endeavors during Hurricane Sandy, I decided this would make the perfect subject matter for such a project.

The storm meant a lot to me. Not simply it’s catastrophic atmosphere, or subsequent decimation of Manhattan and its outer reaches, but specifically the graffiti that was created in its midst and aftermath. While walking 8-12 miles each day I realized that there were certain artists that were out there in it, too. I wanted to highlight the contributions of these artists and to focus on the work that was produced specifically on the first couple nights of the blackout. If you took the risk of braving the elements then you know, as well as I do, that the conditions were not to be taken lightly. Just as my friends & family were amazed that I was dedicated enough to get out and document the experience, I was equally amazed at the works of these particular artists and their dedication to taking advantage of this rather unique scenario.

The above image is a quick, draft quality, print of a sample page from the publication I’ve mentioned. While the finished product will certainly prove to be of much higher quality, I did want to provide an example of what you might find within its pages. In addition to photos you’ve seen on Instagram, there will also be exclusives, interviews, stickers and a narrative I’ve written of my experiences during the storm.

Below is an excerpt from that piece:

 I stopped to take a quick shot of the division between Brooklyn’s functional power grid and Manhattan’s stark darkness. It looked as if we were entering a cave where what awaited us was anyone’s guess. I trailed a few steps behind the others, occasionally catching shots of the tags that lined the asphalt of the route. Even spotting one of my own. As we approached Manhattan, I shot the Empire State Building still illuminated (presumably by generators) against the black background of what traditionally is an exuberant skyline. Everything just seemed so… peaceful. Although there was a definite tension in the air. It was almost as if you could feel the chaos and collective anxiety below, even several stories up.

As we descended into Manhattan and the frenetic bustle of emergency vehicles and cop cars we discussed a plan of attack. Take7 had his eye on the Kenny Scharf gate on Delancey and so we intended to make that the focal point of our journey. He stopped at the placard that serves as a monument to the bridge and decided to paint a quick fill-in on its raised metallic surface. We snaked around the police lines again and headed immediately east into the heart of the LES. Everything, everywhere, black. We caught mop tags and marveled at the lack of any noise or signs of life. It was like being in a museum, or a library. Even if we didn’t have to be quiet, the ominous surroundings indicated we should keep our voices low.

A portion of the proceeds from sales of Operation: Blackout will be donated to “Occupy Sandy” a non-profit organization dedicated to Hurricane Sandy relief efforts and aid distribution.

UPDATE: Operation Blackout is Available now at DISCOBRYSO.BIGCARTEL.COM

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