Man Coming Up Subway Stairs

Roy DeCarava American

Not on view

DeCarava, who began his career as a painter and printmaker, took up photography in the late 1940s. He is perhaps best known for his street photographs of Harlem and his portraits of jazz musicians, which have been justly celebrated as intimate, lyrical, and unsentimental expressions of the African American experience. In this picture, a man clenches his jaw and pulls himself up the stairs from the subway below, momentarily caught between palpable darkness and visible light.

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