In the wake of the release of Volume 003 (Empire State), Sugarlift's new collection of New York City street photography, we are shining the spotlight on some of the artists behind the collection. Today, we're excited to introduce Humza Deas, a young New Yorker who first became famous for his daredevil climbs, but will be remembered for his talent as a photographer.
In the press, Humza has often been called an "outlaw Instagrammer," with many stories unfortunately emphasizing the legal gray area of his rooftop climbs, while leaving out his often-brilliant eye and skillful technique as a photographer. He doesn't climb bridges and explore abandoned subway tunnels because he wants to prove himself as an urban adventurer, or even because of the adrenaline of going somewhere dangerous. He does it because he knows that's where he wants to take photographs.
In his work for Sugarlift's "Empire State" collection, Humza captures images both iconic (the Brooklyn Bridge, the World's Fair globe in Queens) and subversive (two different underground tunnels, a friend perched precariously atop a train). The connecting thread to all his pieces comes from the youthful energy felt in each one and the way he carefully composes each photograph with geometric precision. Humza spends his days (and nights) finding ways to see the city from angles the rest of us couldn't even dream up, and his photos let us all explore the strange and beautiful places in New York we never notice.
Last night was Humza's eighteenth birthday, and we celebrated with a one-night-only pop-up exhibition of Humza's photography at the Sugarlift gallery space in Bushwick. Thanks to all those who came by for the show, and stay tuned for more opportunities to see Humza and his work at Sugarlift! To become a collector of Humza's photography in Sugarlift's collection, head over to Humza's artist page here.