James Reade Venable

Coronavirus 2020
Location: New York, NY
Nationality: American
Biography: James Reade Venable ( b. 1978, USA) is a photographer based in New York City and Brussels. He is the 2x winner of London Photo Festival's Monthly Competitions His photos have been published in several publications including F-Stop, Black +... read on
Public Story
Coronavirus 2020
Copyright james reade venable 2021
Date of Work 03/01/20 - Ongoing
Updated 02/13/21
Location Array
     People hide in their homes and wander about endlessly in an empty New York City. It started in March last year, and the virus is still going on; though after riots, protests, elections, the summer weather lasting deep into the fall, and the political parties using this deadly virus as campaign tool; people tried getting out as much as they could, or were allowed. Many countries around the world are still in lockdown as we speak. In March of 2020, New York City took on a whole other look, the streets where void of cars; pedestrians and bicycles took there place. My bicycle was among one of them.
    My photographic journey started out taking photos from my bicycle while delivering food for delivery apps. It began about the height of the pandemic in March.  Paranoia was at it's height.  In the middle of a world health crisis,  George Floyd was murdered in front of the world. The world started protesting. From what I captured with my camera, and what I saw firsthand, the protesters were very respectful of wearing the mask, especially since I witnessed a large majority of the protests in Virginia; a red state which really quaffed at the mask aspect of COVID. I headed down there because my father had contracted COVID in April.
    I headed back to New York City after my father recovered. The deliveries were steady with restaurants still not open for indoor dining. The people of New York City are nefarious in their enjoyment of libations, so to-go drinks were allowed, so places could keep revenue coming in. The city also allowed for the streets to be taken over by outdoor dining rooms made at first from ramshackle architecture, but then as the allowance of full capacity dining rooms seemed like a fantasy, restauranteurs decided to invest and build very stylish, warm, and elaborate outdoor dining set ups.
    The app deliveries weren't cutting it anymore money wise because it had become and inundated career in NYC due to the pandemic. Even though restaurants had opened, people were broke and couldn't afford to order out anymore, and the clients that were ordering the most had left the cities for there home states, which were now suffering from COVID themselves. I got a job working for a catering company. I continued to document the pandemic and the people while driving a van which allowed for wider coverage through the city. I did this up until the end of November, when I headed back to Belgium. I hope these images invite you into a glimpse of New York City and Richmond, Virginia during 2020 and the pandemic!


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