I’m really late with this since the show has been up since Feb.5, but I urge you to see the amazing Makasutu portraits taken by photographer Jason Florio, on exhibit at Messineo Art Projects/Wyman Contemporary Gallery, 227 W. 29th St. in New York City until April 25 (http://www.messineowyman.com/).
There is a timeless quality to Jason’s portraits, almost as if they were taken in the 19th century. In their direct gaze, the people of Makasutu (in The Gambia, Africa) unflinchingly challenge us to look back and connect with them. Jason photographed many of the subjects against a black cloth and got a variety of effects depending upon the lighting.
I’m a big fan of Jason’s work because he finds a way to reinvent things that have been done millions of times before. His unmatched curiosity and the deep connection he makes with his subjects shows us a fresh world. In his portraits the people are relaxed and open to us without guile. We are transported into their world.