I am pleased to present another blog of Lee Jeffries’ black and white portraits of the homeless. This time, I have chosen to feature his works of homeless women and girls.
What emotions do you feel have been captured in these breathtaking photographs?
ive made some interesting observations about jeffries work and background that ill share here.
first; most of his photographs/subjects are labeled “untitled”, except for a few ( like latoria and liz that ive bookended the blog with). this “non label label” led me to wonder why lee jeffries had chosen such a presentation for his work? calling a work Untitled is different than giving a work no name at all/leaving a blank beneath the photo. so i will assume giving his works an “untitled” label is an intentional choice made by jeffries, not a post photo presentation requisite. Does jeffries never learn the names of many of the homeless subjects he shoots due to obvious circumstance? or does he choose not to include the name in order to keep the “alienation” of the homeless the prime focus of his work.
our names immediately give us a station/place/human worth in society. names have connotations and implications about who we are as people. names create a bridge of understanding into the unknown. names provide a convenient label to latch on to.
anonymity on the other hand creates distance, makes one impersonal, even enigmatic, to outsiders. a man with no name/Nemo can appear less than human. unknowable. unimportant to society. a dark outcast who may even be dangerous. unpredictable.
i have yet to encounter an everyday person and not asked his/her name. i must admit i have never asked a homeless person his/her name in my life. my behavior might confirm what lee jeffries already knows about the displacement of the homeless in a human society that seeks to place everyone in a tidy box.
whatever Jeffries’ intentions, the results are effective.
secondly, i was never able to find a biography on lee jeffries. he has no wiki entry, nor any other online source that i was able to scour for cradle to pre-grave details. all i know is what i included in my first blog about him yesterday> snippits i took from a short interview he gave a few years ago: and all i can surmise is that he still lives in manchester and shoots photos of the homeless near the town’s football/soccer events with a nikon.
but no one else knows more about him than i do either. quotes from that one interview i snipped are abound on the net. the rest is barren. why?
why has lee jeffries chosen anonymity like his subjects?
im curious…… very curious about both of these aspects.
all that aside i love his work. and the enigma hes created surrounding the work gives it a rich atmosphere of fog and mystery.
for more of jeffries stunning work; portraiture as a tour through the human soul, please visit this site..
love odie and odie mama.