James_Leon

leon anthony james

June 18, 2014

Meet our 2014 Fellows!

 

Please tell us of an artist, curator, activist, or project that has influenced you or inspired you?

Camilo Jose Vergara is a New York based photographer that has been documenting a number of American cities. His methodology is go back to the same location and take the same photo every couple of years. Through his work you can see how a neighborhood has been transformed over time. Check out his Brooklyn work here.

 

Please tell us about a place in your neighborhood that is personally meaningful to you, and why?

Kut-N-Lime, a barbershop near me in Crown Heights. I have been a customer her for the past 6 years. Its owned by two men from St. Nieves and Trinidad; really warm and welcoming vibe. Very West Indian. It’s a place to get a hair cut, or to just hang out. Because the clientele is older it provides a touchstone for two things: a New York that doesn’t really and truly exist anymore, especially in a rapidly transforming neighborhood like Crown Heights; and a Caribbean culture that has been and is being transformed through global culture, politics, and economics. I don’t believe myself to be nostalgic, but I am aware of something being vital represented in the stories, and laughter at Kut-N-Lime and that is harder to find elsewhere.

 

What is your favorite book, film or song about NYC?

Abstract Truth’s “We Had a Thing” (Matty’s Body and Soul Remix)

This is what New York felt like when I first accidentally moved here.

 

Fredericks Brown, “Empire City”

Somehow I trick myself into feeling this way from time to time.

 

Gil Scott-Heron, “New York is Killing Me”

Truer than not. Encapsulates my complex feeling about my home.

 

See the full list of 2014 Fellows here.