Jules AllenUntitled NYC (44th St. and 5th Ave., from the series Hats and Hat Nots)
gelatin silver print
16 x 19 3/4 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase
Allen uses the notion of the decisive moment to reveal the complexity of social interactions. Here, a bare-chested bodybuilder draws the admiration of several onlookers who have paused to watch the sidewalk workout session. The series title, Hats and Hat Nots, a word play on haves and have nots, affirms his tribute to the street-wise ingenuity and dignity of black males.