The award-winning street photographer Luc Kordas has come out with a new photo series that seeks to evoke the essence of its title–“Loneliness”. The images, fittingly printed in black and white, are all shot in New York City.
They depict various passerby in states of solitude. The pictures are strikingly intimate while at the same time remaining anonymous; the subject is always slightly removed, never making eye contact with the viewer, often pictured from afar or with face obscured. Kordas himself has lived in New York for many years, and has personal experience with the sort of anomie that an urban metropolis of that size can inspire. Of the inspiration for the shoot, he says
“I think the idea of making a series on loneliness resonated with me so much because I had been hearing about it and witnessing it as a New Yorker ever since I moved here. It seems to be this huge city’s leitmotif.”
Kordas also seeks to emphasize that loneliness is a subjective feeling, not always synonymous with physically being alone. Even in a city of 8 million people, individuals can feel extremely lonely–and express it in a myriad of different ways. Kordas says,
“Loneliness can have different shapes and colors; it doesn’t mean you’re spending most of your time alone in your room. You could be out partying or living a very busy lifestyle studying or working and still feel lonely. It goes deeper than physical solitude.”
The shots are iconically New York, yet the emotions they convey are universal. One woman is pictured from behind, standing before the subway track at the 23rd street stop. Another man walks past Madison Square Garden on what appears to be an uncomfortably cold day, hands in his jacket pockets and steam from the street rising up all around him. There’s a shot of someone playing basketball alone, in the rain. All of the subjects happen to be alone, but Kordas felt that their expressions and body language also conveyed a feeling of loneliness. He comments,
“I am well aware that solitude and loneliness are two different things. Those people don’t necessarily actually have to be lonely in real life, but they could be.”
To see the rest of the images in the series, click here.