Member of the Month December 2017
I have always found great comfort in or by the ocean. The ocean has become the anchor for my current series, Reality & Imagination. I photograph the tide as visual metaphor in this ongoing series of 8 years to explore the dynamic interaction that takes place between cultures when one lives permanently abroad. The cultures automatically interact in a motion that is instantly fluid and turbulent, just as the sand and tide. It’s a constant movement in unison where each always retains its distinctive characteristics. This creates a duality that is always present.
The current climate towards immigrants in the US and the present migrant situation in Europe shows that the turbulent interaction between the duality created by the mix of the two cultures does not only manifest itself within the foreign individual but also within that foreign society. The constant intermingling of that duality is ever there.
The images are basically as they are in the instant shot. They are squarely rooted in the tradition of Elliott Erwitt, Jay Maisel, Eugene Smith, Lou Draper, and sport photography.
Born in Haiti where he acquired his love for the ocean, Leslie Jean-Bart has been living in New York City since he arrived in the US in 1967.
After earning a master’s degree in Journalism from Columbia University, Jean-Bart embarked on a photography career that resulted in the creation of images that have garnered awards and recognition. Earlier days found Jean-Bart on staff at Sotheby’s and Christies where he was surrounded daily by the world’s greatest art. Freelancing assignments took him all over the world, as he shot for clients in Japan, Brazil, Iceland, Cyprus, and Portugal. His commitment to his craft and his defined vision, resulted in a variety of commercial projects, and several published award winning books. A special collage project of Billie Holiday and Charlie Parker for the Verve Music Group was cited for excellence.
Jean-Bart began exhibiting in 2001, when a number of his collages were part of the exhibit “Committed To The Image: Contemporary Black Photographers” at the Brooklyn Museum. From 2001-2003 he took part in a number of group exhibits at Monique Goldstrom Gallery in SoHo, NYC. During the last several years Jean-Bart put his career, but not his art on hold. Committed to the care of his mother who has dementia, Jean-Bart became her daily guardian. During one of the most trying period of taking care of his mother, Jean-Bart started “Reality & Imagination”, his ongoing series of eight years.
He has since had solos and taken part in group exhibits in NYC, Colorado, Hudson, NY, Massachusetts, Texas, Rhode Island, Los Angeles, New Orleans Louisiana, and Atlanta Georgia.