The New York Fighting Scene

_MG_4550Recently I met with the photo editor at Harper Magazine and showed her my recent shoot of the New York fighting scene.  She asked me “why are you drawn to this project?”.  That was a very good question, I am not a fighter or a boxer and why would I want to document fighting?  I replied to her, making an analogy with the first Corrida I watched in Spain.  I am an animal lover and I didn’t really want to see a bull get played to its death.  I wanted to witness it as a cultural experience, to do it once and say I did it.  However when the bull fighter entered the Arena, I felt the energy, the intensity, the history and the pride surrounding bullfights.  You could feel this energy pulsate through your body.  It turned out to be an unforgettable experience and gave me a whole different perspective on bullfighting.

These are the same elements that I wanted to capture and that drew me to this project.  Intensity, history, pride and the energy surrounding the fighting scene. And in New York, I knew I was going to get both history and the real people.  I researched for classic NY GYMs with lots of history and came up with John’s GYM in the Bronx and GLEASON’S  in Brooklyn.   _MG_6288Not being a fighter made this project a little more challenging.  When I contacted the people involved the first question was “who in the hell are you?”.  The unfriendly, intense attitude continued until I took some photos and brought back some pictures to show them.  After seeing the first pictures things changed and I was welcomed into this somewhat raw and intimidating environment.

I wanted to capture the training of the fighters as well as the coaches and the environment.  I let them do their  thing and just danced around them.  On the fight night the goal was to show the intensity of the moment before, during and after the fight. Check out the three galleries, John’s GYM in the Bronx, Gleason’s GYM in Brooklyn and Friday Night Fights.  If you enjoy this blog don’t forget to like me on Facebook

 

JOHN’S GYM in the Bronx

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Gleason’s GYM in Brooklyn

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Friday Night Fights

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