DAH Is Living Proof

Dumbo’s Powerhouse Gallery, June 14, 2007, was the scene for an opening for David Alan Harvey’s book, Living Proof–a document of hip hop culture created from Senegal to the Bronx. This is the third book from the Magnum photographer.

A northeast commute took me from a 4 to a C train at Fulton Street off at High Street in Brooklyn to the Powerhouse venue on Main Street. I wasn’t sure if David would remember me the night before at Alex Webb’s Istanbul opening at the Sepia Gallery in Chelsea, but as soon as I said hello he invited me to his after-show kibbutz, as he called it.

The space at Powerhouse is huge—two levels with tall and wide amounts of wall space, a generous section devoted to book sales, and another tier useful for a DJ. DAH chose to keep the presentation direct and accessible. His tightly-toned inkjet prints were pasted without frames from top to bottom. Hand-drawn script titles and a statement accompanied the images.

I hopped a taxi with Mike and Maya, two DAH assistants. The party was at his loft on Kent Avenue in Williamsburg. Great variety of people—established photographers such as Stephen Shames, local friends, as well as visitors from Europe, and young assistants interning and learning from the guru-like DAH. The affair was spread out between two lofts, David’s and neighbor-photographer Robert Clark. This party was a true-to-life example of the quality of a man’s friends attesting to the goodness of one’s character.

The photos that follow are a testament that flowing red wine and a picture-making with a flimsy Fuji F30 do not go well together.