"A picture is worth a thousand words. I want mine to be a million words. Every photo has a exciting story behind it, and I want the viewer to see that."- Steve McClintock
For this week's Mahal, I got to check out New York City skateboarder and photographer Stephen McClintock's show at the Inkwell Gallery in New York. Never without a camera in his back pocket, Stephen shoots every “what the fuck” moment around him. The photos in his show were taken over the span of nine years in Florida and New York and are reminiscent of the work of Diane Arbus and Weegee. Stephen titled the show “Happiness is Expensive” because he feels that everyone is searching for happiness, and no matter what kind of happiness that is, it’s expensive.
The first time I met Steve, he was walking around Manhattan's Union Square with a blow up doll. He’s moved around a couple times ever since leaving Florida where he lived for most of his life. While on vacation in San Francisco, he learned that the nightclub he had been working at back in Miami had gone out of business, so he extended his stay indefinitely.
In San Francisco, he lived off food stamps and trimmed weed for money, so he concluded he didn't have much going on there and decided to move to New York for something new. With less than $100 in his pocket, he couch surfed for longer than any human should and squatted in an old office space in Manhattan. He got odd jobs here and there like wrapping candy bars for 10 cents a-piece until his fingers bled.
But Steve got his act together.
The show runs from October 4th - 29th in a pretty secret gallery space on the 6th floor of 40 West 23rd Street. You’re going to have to email them at Inkwell212@gmail.com to go see it.
Photos by Taji Ameen and Jade Katz.