Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Bey 2, McKinley the Shoemaker

This is the 2nd of the 12 days of Bey. Photographs by Dawoud Bey in his book Harlem, USA.

This man is at work. The clock is to the left of his head right above the calendar. This is a photo about time. A man has worked for many years, presumably as a shoemaker. He is not thrilled at the moment. Frown on his face, smoking a cigarette , sitting on a not very comfortable looking chair. This gentleman would like to be gone.

I love the Gordon's Gin crate. It adds to the scene of what looks like a bad day at work. That is just my opinion.

It is the 5th day of Hanukkah. The Maccabees...Are they role models today? Violent, religious Zealots. Times have changed. Zealots remain Zealots sometimes even to the same cause they began with.

Hanukkah is a fundamentally less cheerful folk tale than Christmas.

Am I  crazy or does the guy in the photo wear a yamulke?


  1. The man is happy because he has a break; he's happy because he get's to take a smoke. He's being photographed. This has not happened before. He's a bit self-conscious and awkward in front of the camera. He's very comfortable on his chair. He's been sitting in it for decades; it's like a part of him. He may be wearing a Yarmulke.

  2. At least we agree on the Yamulke. I would not want to be a shoemaker. And would not be too good at it. So, I didn't get happiness from the photo. That's what makes these so intriguing.

    This book is one of my favorite Hanukah presents of all time. Kudus to Peggy. The gifts are very personal and the wrapping is artistic.