When a deep passion resides in an artist, it is often found blaring throughout everything that they do. With Christian Coleman there is a mute devotion, a quiet hunger within that isn’t easy to detect. Usually, you can look at an artist and determine what they do, something will give them away or reveal their medium–that is if the artist doesn’t readily offer up this information himself. Christian Coleman is the exception; his overall charisma and warm smile conceal a figurative sleight of hand–you miss the “signs” and the mystery lingers.
New York is home to an army of wannabes, but this Buffalo native is the real thing. A photographer living in the Baruch Houses in the Lower East Side, Coleman has a love for photography that is all but apparent when you step foot inside his quaint apartment. Littered with photos, stray vinyls, and neat stacks of Vogue and vintage Playboys, the true centerpiece of Coleman’s dwelling is his collection of Polaroid cameras. Coleman’s collection, which consists of thirty cameras from across the decades, isn’t a graveyard of dated technology, but rather a refuge from the indiscriminate hand of innovation.
We first met Christian Coleman last summer at an ArtNow event that featured a select group of talented artists. Coleman’s work wasn’t featured, but we got to chatting and we soon discovered through our own nosing about that Coleman owns an admirable collection of vintage Polaroid cameras. Instantly, we were intrigued and vowed to stop by his place to see it for ourselves. We finally got the chance to visit Coleman this spring. Settled in his humble surroundings, Coleman discussed his collection, the resurrection of “dead” technology, and his overall love for photography.
Written by Akeem K. Duncan.↓
Akeem is our founder. A writer, poet, curator and profuse sweater, he is responsible for the curatorial direction and overall voice of Quiet Lunch. The Bronx native has read at venues such as the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, KGB Bar, Lovecraft and SHAG–with works published in Palabra Luminosas and LiVE MAG13. He has also curated solo and group exhibitions at numerous galleries in Chelsea, Harlem, Bushwick and Lower Manhattan.