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American dream in New York by CatchMe-22 (print image)

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Artist's Statement

Iriemiah and Brad are from the Caribbean, where they used to play in a jazz band.

I asked them why they came to New York to play in the subway.

"Because it's in New York, mon" Iriemiah said, "It's the centre of the world!"

A sexy blonde in a little red dress distracted him briefly and he missed a high note. We shared a moment and chuckled.

New York -- the city is so vibrant with art and music and culture, each artist's soul feeds into the pool, where they get blended in a violent whirlpool then spat back out as this hybrid, hyperdense creative energy that feeds back to its artists.

Like its century-old subways, New York is a constant state of flux. As an artist, you cannot help but write and sing and dance... and shoot. Thousands and thousands of photographs. I guess that's why every artist and musician that's been to New York always take a little piece of the city with them when they leave... New York gets branded onto your soul where it's impossible to lose.

I hung out with Iriemiah and Brad for an hour in the humid, hot and smelly subway to get THE shot where trains from both directions are moving while they played. Getting the American flags at the same time was just pure luck.

7 dollar bills and 300 shots later, I bid goodbye to my Jamaican friends whom I promised to email this shot to.

"New Zealand ay," Iriemiah said, "We look for you when we come play in New Zealand!"

I gave him a thumb up as the doors closed.


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