A serendipitous meeting in Bushwick between photographer Eli Sleepless and queer artist ShocKAYaw leads to the creation of a spontaneous, yet beautifully impromptu photoshoot.
Eli Sleepless on the series:
“What happens is the night is getting blurry (too fast) and I decide anxiously to walk to Rebecca’s bar before I commit to the multiple train rides the night has handed to me. I have my camera sleeping in my bag and I’m thinking of sleep too, but clarity and energy snap back into place when I see this person moving like a 90s star, with confidence that reaches you before the redness and shine of the gorgeous outfit does. I have my film camera – a Konica I’ve bought but still haven’t shot all of my first roll on. I see their little red purse shaped like lips, I see their makeup, and I work up the nerve to ask if I can take some photos.”
“The person is ShocKAYaw and our 10-minute shoot is vibrant. ShocKAYaw is an artist and a nightlife figure in NYC. We chat a bit and ShocKAYaw tells me they were painting the town pink. ShocKAYaw is friendly and moves so easily in front of the camera, there are less than 20 frames left and I shoot them wishing I had more film on me but feeling lucky our paths crossed. I plan on catching one of their stage performances soon.”
Find ShocKAYaw on Instagram @shockayaw
Images by Eli Sleepless @elisleepless