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Clothes make the man. Naked people have no influence. -Mark Twain This project is about fashion. It is about power. Inspired by the urban photographs of Harry Callahan in the streets of Chicago in the 1950s and Garry Winogrand in New York in the 1970s this work uses the visual language of street photography and fashion photography to provide an ethnographic glance at a group desiring to look successful and attractive through self-awareness and control of their image.

Though they appear physically close, these images do not go to the soul of the individuals. That is not important. Rather, this is theater of the most real kind: Street Theater. Presented is a choreographed costume drama of everyday life with its actors and characters fulfilling their roles delivering a dialog through gesture, and body language in a public space. In this play, the viewer is directed to what is projected through the symbols of fashion: clothes, hair, brands, and accessories.

Lost in their worlds, the subjects are close, yet we are not seen. Our gaze is transformed into a timeless stare. It is what one experiences everyday stealing furtive glances of those around us inhabiting crowded urban environments. In this moment one can admire, evaluate, criticize or question what is seen. One can ask: Who are these people? Are they privileged, successful, or powerful? Are they beautiful? Do they have flaws like the rest of us? Yet, though one can now look without being discovered, the gaze is still unsettling.

John Kimmich-Javier (USA) is Professor Emeritus from University of Iowa and is currently Professor at Mid Sweden University, Sundsvall, Sweden, where he chairs the photojournalism education and the International Master of Arts in Photojournalism program. He also exhibits and works as a photographer in the U.S. and Europe and is represented by TT/Bildhuset agency in Sweden and ArchiTech Gallery, Chicago, USA.

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