Hayden M. Greene, who is a New York City-based, prize-winning, fine art photographer, has a current exhibition at Manhattan College that focuses on portraying people of the global majority as strong subject matters.
Photos courtesy Ryan Wener
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Hayden M. Greene, who is a New York City-based, prize-winning, fine art photographer, has a current exhibition at Manhattan College that focuses on portraying people of the global majority as strong subject matters. The exhibit consists of pieces from three collections: “Magritte Reimagined,” “By Any Mean Essential” and “Wanderlust.”
“The Magritte Reimagined” collection takes the work of surrealist master, Rene Magritte, and recreates them as photographs. Greene has replaced Magritte’s subjects with members of historically Black fraternities and sororities and he has replaced the inanimate objects with classic cameras. He wants the viewer to imagine what these classic paintings would look like with a more diverse subject pool.
“By Any Means Essential” takes the infamous image of Malcolm X defending his home with a rifle and recreates it with essential workers who were called to “defend” the city during the pandemic. These real heroes of the quarantine were predominantly Black and Brown people who put their lives on the line to keep the city afloat. Their fear, and ensuing bravery, is captured in each profile.
On the surface “Wanderlust presents” as just travel photography. However, being a photographer of African heritage presents its own unique set of challenges. It also provides a different lens than most travel photographers. Greene’s work tends to be more gritty and grounded than the glamourous style of most travel photography. Bordering on photojournalism, Greene seeks out the lesser trodden paths at destinations and often showcases places and people that don’t generally show up on a tourism brochure. The result is a collection of images that show travel outside of the 5-star hotels.
Greene’s work is firmly rooted in capturing the ironic and adding representation to fine art photography. He has published three photo books and is currently working on a new project. Greene hosts a pop up gallery show every year and opened his own storefront gallery in Brooklyn in 2018.