It’s in Queens
#InTheLoop | Photographer seeks subjects for A Great Day in Queens
History repeats itself!
On Aug. 12, 1958, Art Kane, a freelance photographer on assignment for Esquire magazine, took a photo of 57 jazz musicians in front of a brownstone at 17 E. 126th St. in Manhattan. Dubbed “A Great Day in Harlem,” the black-and-white image of Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, and other legends symbolized the genre and neighborhood.
Fast forward to May 19, 2018, and Art’s son, Jonathan Kane, is going to honor the 60th anniversary of his father’s iconic photograph by taking his own visual portrait of Queens residents in front of the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Jonathan, a photographer/musician, lives in the international Jackson Heights neighborhood, and his image will depict the borough’s unprecedented ethnic diversity. (Wearing the traditional garments of their heritages will be encouraged, but not required.)
“It’s long been a dream of mine to recreate the image, but with a social and conceptual twist,” said Jonathan, who has been shooting location photography and producing video for the automotive and trucking industries since 2008. “Queens is the most diverse county on the planet. We speak more than 100 languages, we profess countless faiths and creeds, and best of all, we get along! We are living and celebrating everything that’s great about America every day, and it’s time to share that with the world in a bold and dynamic way.”
Working with the Queens Tourism Council, Jonathan plans to assemble dozens of Queens residents for about three hours on Saturday, May 19, starting at 8 am. They will enjoy some breakfast and each other’s company before posing for photos in the same basic T formation as seen in “A Great Day in Harlem.”
The image could be used for any number of purposes, including education, tourism, fund-raising, decoration, and even branding, Jonathan says. All participants will get an enlarged copy, while he plans to create and distribute a poster to interested parties. There are also plans to create a video documentary of the event that could also be used for education, tourism, and general entertainment. (There is a documentary on his father’s 1958 photo.)
Right now, Queens Tourism Council Director Rob MacKay is recruiting people for the photo and organizing the run of show on May 19. If you are interested in being part of the experience, please contact him at 718.263.0546 or email@example.com.
Images: ©Art-Kane_Harlem 1958
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