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LEE JEFFRIES

Rome II

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The artist

Born in the United Kingdom, Lee Jeffries lives in Manchester and constantly travels to major Western cities to meet people living in the streets, striving to capture their nobility. Formerly an accountant, it was during a marathon he undertook in London that he crossed paths with a young woman snuggled in her sleeping bag near Leicester Square. His perception of homeless people was radically transformed and Lee Jeffries couldn't resist photographing her. This wonderful encounter marked the start of his artistic and social approach: the homeless became his main subjects. This humanist photographer explains that each image is the result of long discussions with each individual, a privileged moment that allows him to establish a connection that is particularly palpable in their gaze. The emotion is in the eyes, explains Lee Jeffries, whose majestic black-and-white portraits enable him to collect funds to assist and bear witness to the difficult living conditions of these isolated individuals.  ... See more See less

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Je marchais à Rome dans les rues de Trastevere quand je suis tombé sur la femme qui prie au milieu d’une porte. Je ne l'ai pas dérangée mais j'ai tourné l'image avec un objectif de 85mm. C'est devenu mon image de signature car elle contient tout ce qu'un Lee Jeffries est. Il s'agit de foi,dl'espoir, de lumière et d'amour."

LEE JEFFRIES

About the artwork

The photograph depicts a homeless person. Lee Jeffries is biased to front on views andclosely frames the face. Processing in black and white reinforces the contrasts and shapes the portrait. Neither indulgence, nor complaisance, the style is unadorned. Theartist put emphasis on the relief of the face and laid the wrinkles bare like furrows. Thestrength of this photograph lays in the model's attitude. Lee Jeffries succeeds in magnifying the character who seems both timeless and out of this world. This portrait speaks volumes. A story unfolds. It is no longer possible for the spectator to remain indifferent. The photograph becomes a document which narrates misery, injustice and suffering. Yet, Jeffries' work is stripped of any sordid realism. The portrait is hieratic and true nobility emanates from this face.

Interview

How was your passion for photography born?
I'm a romantic. I’ve spent the entirety of my adult life searching for something. In my 20’s and 30’s I hadn’t a clue what that was. It was only in my 40’s, when I first picked up a camera, that I ...

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