PDN Photo of the Day

Not In Your Face

Not In Your Face

02. Army -new
08 MUSIC-1

04. Hard Times-1All photos © Susan Barnett

Fine-art photographer Susan Barnett took to the streets of New York City recently to ask over 900 people to pose and have the back of their t-shirts photographed. Above is a sampling of some of the most interesting ones she encountered. Says Barnett: “My success rate has been almost 100 percent but sometimes I am given short shrift. One t-shirt read ‘A t-shirt can change the world!’ I really liked that one but ironically that fellow refused to stop!” Barnett used her 49-year-old Leicaflex SL2 camera with 35mm Ektar and Portra Vivid Color film to get the shots.

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  1. Id prefer if she walked behing them and shoot’em in secret, in this way we could see all different pics. Instead now we have a catalogue.
    However nice idea.

  2. Nice set of images,
    You seen the work of photographer Scott Mc kiernan. He had a show in Florida, i saw last year. called i think Rear View and took this idea alot further. incredible pictures shoot on the streets worldwide.

  3. Faboulous crisp and exciting images of the street life of NYC. Love that people respond positively to having their “Not in your Face” images and statements photographed!! Would like to see more in this collection!

  4. I guess my monochromatic Hanes t shirts are behind the times. I will have to update after seeing these photos. A brilliant idea and makes a nice statement. I would love to see more from your collection.

  5. The reverse effect is great. The subjects are going forward and each of them has another image (of who they are) they need to present.

  6. Love this idea of seeing the portraits from the back. The brilliant colorful images of NYC makes it even more eyecatching. I would love to see more in a book…what a conversation starter!

  7. I like these pictures, because once on gets past the message of each shirt and the humor of these images, I became aware of their subtlety in that each of these individuals in their anonymity by their body language reveal something of their sense of self- I see it in the hunch of their shoulders the twist of their hips – this self conscious casualness obviously comes from their having been asked to pose rather than Ms. Barnett, merely taking their picture unawares. One last observation – though compressed and seemingly inconsequential as images the street-scapes convey alot of information about life in the city – in a funny way, maybe because how they are ganged here they make me think of the Becher’s indiustial landscapes

  8. As a New Yorker, we come across so many different types of people. Their clothes reflect who they are – even though they didn’t design the clothes themselves. Nevertheless, these series tell us a great story. The graphic, typography and the message tells who you they are and what they might believe. In addition, I like the simple composition and visual consistency of the photos.

  9. I am very attracted by the color and composition of these photos. They really get me curious about their surrounding and stories behind them. Each photo can tell a unique story. But looking at a series makes me wonder about the stories related to the individual pieces.

  10. Nice stuff! Makes me think of the annual T-shirt Festival in Kuroshio-cho, Kochi Prefecture, Japan. T shirt artists from all over Japan compete and the shirts are mounted on sticks on the beach with reflecting pools and bamboo forest or the open sea as the backdrop. These T-shirts from Susan Barnett are of course much more “lived in”, individual portraits of people, too, …. But it makes me think it could be revealing to make a series from different parts of the world.

  11. These are so up to the minute & capture what I see around me everyday, but they are not snapshots but are beautifully formally composed. I like how it’s not only the message on the shirt but who the person is. They are very human & susan got their trust & show human we are. Want to see more of this artist.

  12. The unusual introduction of such intense colors in the New york city landscape combined with the concept of the everyday human form as walking art canvas is interesting as well as provoking.
    At once street poetry in motion, political statement or a scream for attention these individual’s second skins are stories, New York stories waiting to be told.
    In a way these images are a testament to everyone’s openness underlining the compelling need in each of us to “get the message across”, even if it means being “shot” from the back.

  13. I like the photograph of the gentleman with a child and the shirt that says, “Hard Times Bring”. The thing I like is that his left side (without child) has hard bricks in the background, but the left side (with child) has soft trees in the background. It speaks to a hard and soft side at the same time. GREAT shot!!!

  14. It’s a very sensitive, humanistic and has a unique visual style, something we can even use a bit more to our culture and society. Too many photographers today may think that only a “WOW” effect will bring the attentions but these straight photos get me a wonderfull feeling of pictures and the people.
    I look forward to see more photos of her doing this series.

  15. I’m amazed by not only the sharp colorful images but the amount of effort you have put into to come up with these great images revealing whole new dimension in art and photography field. Asking over 900 people to pose for you and getting 100% success is not something anyone could do. I can’t wait to see all 900 images and more in future. Keep up the good work.

  16. I have known Susan throughout her career and I’m excited and blown away by her “not in your face” photographs. These photos are an unusual expression of heart, grit, survival, beauty and thought. Each photo tells a story without words or even the face of the individual. This unique concept reminds me of the beginning of an art movement…a unique genre that speaks to the viewer in a different way. I am a psychotherapist and I intend to hang several photos in my office and expect a wide array of reactions. This is exciting and important creative work. I’m thrilled to be a part of Susan’s life.

  17. This photos are unique, all In they’re own way. I love the way the artist(in a new York minute) has capture all of them and incorporated the perfect background for the photos since it seem its all random and not planed,makes it more interesting and challenging.

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