To begin, unless you already know, 125th and Lexington Ave in Harlem is a place entrenched in grim history, but like most impoverished places nation-wide, gentrifications has since transformed the place into a bustling hub for man buns, Yeezy season wear and instagramable coffee joints. What once lurked underneath the glowing Apollo sign lurks no more, however their mark lingers in New York-based photographer Khalik Allah’s photo series aptly titled 125TH & LEXINGTON. The series controversially and candidly captures a diverse range of portraits of all the unique individuals that used to – or perhaps still does – occupy the area.
Allah’s passion for the art of photography can actually be traced back to his compelling shoot with the members of the legendary Wu Tang Clan.
Opting for a manual, analogue film camera over your modern digital, Allah’s work casts his subject matters in a vibrant and wonderfully retro light, that only serves to enhance the character of each person he’s so brilliantly portrayed. While his 125TH & LEXINGTON can be seen as the root of his work and all the thereafter creative topics and mediums that he’s chosen to explore for himself – namely film – Allah’s passion for the art of photography can actually be traced back to his compelling shoot with the members of the legendary Wu Tang Clan, the series of which was shot with a camera he borrowed from his Dad – but more on that series to come!
For now, we urge you to look through and relish in the seemingly ominous yet charming images of Allah’s take on Harlem’s 125th Street and Lexington Avenue, as he takes us on an intimate journey – one rarely seen by non-locals of the area. Once you’ve had your fill with that, check out the preview of Allah’s film effort below, titled Field Niggas, which “chronicle of summer of nights spent at the intersection of 125th Street and Lexington Avenue.” Check out more of Khalik Allah’s work from his online portfolio here, and check back in with us for more exploration of Allah’s work to come.
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