Remember Audiences? - The New York Times

Remember Audiences? – The New York Times

Remember Audiences? – The New York Times

Remember Audiences? – The New York Times

Four photographers share their images of pre-quarantine crowds, when jamming together elbow to elbow felt so normal.


Jessica Lehrman

The photographer Jessica Lehrman specializes in getting deep into crowds — a lost luxury during the coronavirus quarantine. She’s been documenting Flatbush Zombies, a Brooklyn rap crew with a loyal community of fans, since 2012: “So many kids come to their shows having overcome suicide and depression and feeling alone and find community,” she said. “It’s beautiful.”

Tasked with exploring audiences, Krista Schlueter photographed a screening of “To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You,” where the cast made an unannounced appearance. Her camera, unsurprisingly, captured a very modern scene: “These girls waited outside in the cold to presumably see something they are obsessed over, however they choose to watch through the screen of their phones.” Schlueter, who specializes in finding the offbeat moments at eclectic New York City events, also visited BroadwayCon, a haven for the most passionate musical theater fans, and Meet the Breeds at the Westminster Dog Show, where enthusiasts can see the competitors up close.

Concerns about the coronavirus have left New York venues devoid of audiences. But not long ago, Sam Youkilis captured this crowd at the Caribbean Social Club in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where locals gather to play pool and dominoes, and dance. The vibe is familial: “Everyone is welcome and people of all generations are mingling and getting on,” he said.

TikTok stars are often performing to an audience of one, and that intimacy creates powerful fandoms. The photographer Taylor Johnson captured Amber Gonzales reacting to her favorite, Jeremy Hutchins, at a meet-up. “Teenage fans freaking out over teenage celebrities made me think about how much celebrity is shifting to become more accessible,” Johnson said.


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