I moved to New York almost a decade ago (from Los Angeles, and Detroit before that, and Kansas City before that). By that point in my life — after moving around so much — I found the best way to get to know my new hometown was through art and creativity.
While living in Los Angeles I discovered my passion for photography, so that was my favored way to familiarize myself with New York.
If you’ve never been to New York, its hallmarks are chaos and energy. It can be overwhelming when you first set foot onto the pavement of a Manhattan street. It was for me! There’s intense sensory overload: visual advertisements are inescapable, street art and graffiti everywhere you look, smells and sounds blanketing the atmosphere, and, of course, people. An unbelievable deluge of strangers flooding every street, 24/ 7. It’s an intensely surreal experience, experiencing the lifeblood of New York for the very first time.
I absolutely loved every second of it. But I wanted to filter the madness and confusion — a great metaphor for life in general, I think — into something more manageable. My attempts at doing just that — taming the anarchy, capturing the surrealist essence of New York — gradually crystallized into what is now my “Coincidences” project.
Even though I acclimated to New York years ago (and don’t even skip a beat when a stranger bumps into me on the street or train) I continue to make photographs for “Coincidences.” Part of the way along the journey of the project, I realized the pictures in this series give me a new appreciation for life itself. How uncanny that the disparate and unrelated elements in the photographs come together for a brief, miraculous moment to create something so beautiful!
Ultimately, “Coincidences” is my love letter to New York, and to the infinite number of magical, ephemeral and serendipitous moments that make it a city unlike any other.
More info: jonathanhigbee.com