“Yes, the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 greatly altered our existence. But the subway has to be impervious in the ways that humans are not. For that reason, Chris Maliwat’s Subwaygram is prescient and a rare body of work. A historical record, a testimony of our values, a parable of inequality. Moments worth preserving and studying.”—Aaron L. Morrison
In the tradition of street photography, Chris Maliwat caught moments of random people being themselves, and in doing so, elevated these moments. The setting was the New York City subway system, both in the trains and on the platforms, and the culture and personality of this particular transit system is on display.
Distinguishing this body of work is, in part, the timeline. These portraits were taken the two years prior and the two years after the first COVID-19 cases were detected in Manhattan, and the book layout and photograph sequencing are structured to reflect this.
The book is divided in half, with the first part images pre-pandemic, and the last half post. The reminder of adjustments and changes brought on by COVID-19 are prescient in the appearance of facial masks on the subway riders in the latter portion of images.
Chris Maliwat is a street-portrait photographer who captures surreptitious moments of everyday people on their journeys in the cities where they live. In a world where people consciously and often obsessively cultivate an image to portray, he takes candid portraits—often without being noticed by the subject—to show how people look when they are unposed and unmasked. Chris started with black & white film photography but now shoots primarily with his mobile phone and mirrorless full-frame cameras. Chris received an arts grant from the Stanford Arts & Technology Initiative and has studied photography at Stanford University and the International Center of Photography in New York City.
Subwaygram by Chris Maliwat is published by Daylight Books
Chris Maliwat: Subwaygram
Essay by Aaron L. Morrison
128 pages; 74 Color Photographs
8 x 8 inches