Art December 12, 2011 By Chloe Eichler

Imam Abdul by

Imam Abdul by João Canziani

99 title 99 Portraits

For photographer João Canziani, documenting Occupy Wall Street goes beyond photographing protestors. His NinetyNine Portraits, taken over the course of two days in October before Zuccotti Park was forcibly cleared by the police, is a depiction of the phenomenon of Occupy rather than the demonstration. Canziani’s camera moves fluidly between campers, the tourists who gawk at them, the cops who surround them, and the bankers who pass them twice a day. This is the real 99%, a microcosm that didn’t self-select. The portraits are vividly lit and often disarmingly candid, but they come with no identifying label or context. Whatever you guess about the subjects comes from their faces, not their slogans.

How is Ninetynine Portraits different from your previous work?
I usually don’t get very political. My personal has often been “personal.” As in something I want to learn more about myself, my family, or the places I grew up in. And I’m also a contrarian at heart, so I strive to not do what I feel everybody else is doing. But in this case I felt I had a viewpoint that was different from everybody else’s, and something that was new to me.