Rex Jones's picture

The Performer, Variation No. 1

I was awestruck when I stumbled across this iconic scene in Central Park, so befitting of what the year 2020 has been for all of us. New York City, one of the biggest cities in the world, still reeling from the effects of Covid-19 with thousands upon thousands trying to live their lives amidst the pandemic.

What I witnessed was not just a street performer but a man who is so dedicated to his love of music that he braved freezing temperatures to continue to share his passion with whoever might be present.

His name is Carlos, from Santiago Chile, who immigrated to New York City over 30 years ago. He began his pursuit of music in his home country and has made his living with a guitar ever since he first stepped foot in the United States.

With temperatures below freezing, city restrictions enforced to reduce the spread of the virus, the amount of people likely to come across this street performer was dramatically reduced. He kept playing, mask in place, even if nobody was around, because this musician wasn't there for the money.

Even in the face of monumental challenges, the human spirit stands strong. Carlos stands strong.

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Alex Rumsey's picture

Beautiful lighting.

Rex Jones's picture

Thank you! It was that perfect overcast kind of day. :)

Nathan Campbell's picture

Love this shot - the mood, the message, the fact that you got it perfectly symmetrical despite being (I presume) a candid shot at wide-angle. The editing is tasteful and the lighting really just works - you have these warm tones and the musician silhouetted by the cold blue light of winter as if juxtaposing the warmth of a make-shift concert hall against the cold harsh realities of winter in a pandemic. This is the type of thought-provoking shot I could easily imagine on the cover of Time or a major newspaper.

Rex Jones's picture

Thank you so much, Nathan! You are absolutely correct, I didn't plan this shot, and even if I had, I couldn't have planned for it to come together any better than it did on its own. :)