The work of New York Film Academy (NYFA) Photography school alum Jon Henry was recently featured on the cover of PDN Magazine, along with a feature profile of Henry included in the issue. PDN (Photo District News) Magazine is a monthly publication for professional photographers and was founded in 1980 by Carl S. Pugh.
Henry enrolled in the 1-year Conservatory at New York Film Academy’s Photography school in Fall 2010. NYFA’s esteemed Photography department has previously hosted PDN’s 30 2018: Strategies for Launching and Building a Career.
His project Stranger Fruit is featured in the January 2019 issue of PDN. In the piece by PDN writer Dzana Tsomondo, Henry’s photos are described in great detail along with the cultural context that shaped them. Stranger Fruit uses the iconography of the pietà—the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ—in response to the numerous murders of unarmed black men by police officers.
The images are centered on black mothers photographed with their children. The first photo Henry created, for Stranger Fruit, Untitled #10 Flushing, NY, directly references the pietà, which was perhaps most famously captured in a sculpture by Michelangelo. “When I started the project,” Henry tells PDN in the article, “I wanted something that was as close to the original as I could, but [to] still make it mine.”
Henry was born and raised in Flushing, Queens. After Sean Bell was killed in Jamaica, Queens in 2008, Henry was inspired to make something in response, but it wasn’t until 2014 that Henry photographed Untitled #10. That year, and in the years before and since, several additional high-profile cases of unarmed black men being killed by police have shook the nation.
Strange Fruit was shown at BRIC House in Brooklyn, NY and New Image Gallery at James Madison University in Virginia, and this month is showing at Drury University in Missouri in March. For further detail on Henry’s work and efforts, we encourage everyone to check out his profile in PDN Magazine.
The New York Film Academy congratulates Photography alum Jon Henry on the latest showcase of his important and visually arresting work!