Dimitri Mellos

Photographer
    
I speak of the city
Location: New York City
Nationality: Greek
Biography: Dimitri Mellos was born in Athens, Greece, but since 2005 has been living in New York City. He studied philosophy and psychology. As a child, he used to walk around with an old Kodak Instamatic camera (with no film loaded), pretending to be... MORE
Public Story
I speak of the city
Copyright Dimitri Mellos 2022
Updated May 2020
Location New York City
Topics Candid, Documentary, Personal, Photography, Street

Project summary: The scope of my photos is narrow and mundane, like the lives they depict "“ like the lives of most of us. But my work is based on the conviction that everyday life is worthy of affirmation and celebration, and on a deeply held belief that transcendence and poetry are always there waiting to be found in the midst of the quotidian and the ephemeral. This is an ongoing personal project shot entirely around the streets of New York City over several years.

STATEMENT:

"I speak of the city, shepherd of the centuries, mother that gives birth to us and devours us, that creates us and forgets." - Octavio Paz  

I walk the streets of New York City and photograph strangers. My work is an exploration of the serendipitous visual poetry of the life of the city, motivated by a sharp awareness of its fragility and transience. I seek glimpses of transcendence in the evanescent and the quotidian: in fleeting gestures and glances, in transitory moments of connection in the urban flow, in the ephemeral dance of light and shadow and human presence. More than anything, what moves me is capturing the infinitesimal outward signs of an inner emotional life, the interiority of people even in the midst of the most public of spaces.

My working method is based on fully embracing transience and serendipity, and on blending documentary and fine art stylistic elements in order to create a poetic yet authentic record of the everyday life of New York City and its inhabitants in the 21st century. I consider photography to be not only an artistic but also an essentially ethical practice, predicated on a profound respect for the world as encountered, and a desire to preserve it, albeit in the illusory form of a photograph.

My photographs are relics of a momentary merging of photographer and environment, self and other. The city brings us together, the city prizes us apart. Immersing myself in the flow of the life of the city I feel the boundaries of my self momentarily become fluid, permeable. I abandon myself to the flow. The ensuing photographs are as much portraits of the people they depict, as they are portraits of a moment of being, a brief but charged crossing of lives. They are my feeble protest against the city's forgetfulness. 


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