Aug. 4, 2021

Photographer Jamel Shabazz on Life in 1980s New York City and Using His Camera to Connect with His Community

Photographer Jamel Shabazz on Life in 1980s New York City and Using His Camera to Connect with His Community

For decades, photographer Jamel Shabazz has been using his photography to make an impact on his community. This week on Top Artist, we interview Jamel about his career and his approach to street photography.


For decades, photographer Jamel Shabazz has been using his photography to make an impact on his community. This week on the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast, we interview Jamel about his career and his approach to street photography. We learn about photos as “visual medicine” making a difference in New Yorkers' lives and the intimate stories Jamel's work uncovers.

See some of the artwork we discuss on the Top Artist Instagram

Follow Jamel's work on his website, Instagram, and Facebook.

Want to see your work on a billboard? Enter our sponsor Fine Art America's 2021 Billboard Contest by August 31 and you might just see your art on a large scale.

You can learn more about Jamel's life and work in Charlie Ahearn's 2013 documentary, Jamel Shabazz Street Photographer, which is available for rent on Amazon.

Read more about Jamel's work and the projects we discuss:

Authentic Street Photography of 1980s New York Reveals the Rise of Hip-Hop Culture

Vintage Photos of Life on the Gritty New York City Subway of the Past

Top 12 Street Photographers Who Captured the Grit of New York in the 70s and 80s

Want to support the artists we feature and the podcast? Check out books by our guests on the Top Artist Bookstore.

And remember, we want to hear from you! Leave us a listener voicemail and subscribe to our newsletter so you can submit questions for upcoming interviews. You'll find everything on podcast.mymodernmet.com

Jamel Shabazz

Photographer

Jamel Shabazz is known for his photographs of New York during the 1980s. He has authored 10 monographs. His photographs have been exhibited worldwide and his work is housed within the permanent collections of The Whitney Museum, The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Bronx Museum, and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture. Over the years, Shabazz has taught young students at the Studio Museum in Harlem’s “Expanding the Walls” project, and The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture “Teen Curators” program. Jamel is the 2018 recipient of the Gordon Parks award for documentary photography, and a member of the photo collective Kamoinge.