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WHAT'S HOT: STORIES OF TOP URBAN ARTISTS
Urban photographer Xavier Nuez painted and sketched extensively from a young age, but he didn't find his true calling until he enrolled in a college photography class. With his first roll of film, Nuez went into an alley at night with his brother and took pictures. He hasn't stopped shooting film since. "My style is very theatrical," Nuez says. "I shoot in dramatic and intense urban spaces, where I create shots that look like movie sets. I imagine the characters who have come and gone and all the late-night encounters that have taken place over the years in each small dark corner of the world." Nuez tries to create inspiring imagery from miser-able locations rather than simply documenting the place or finding interesting shapes and colors within it. He only shoots at night, and his long exposures and lighting rigs have forced him to brave the danger of gangs and drug addicts. "I have roamed insanely dangerous places in Detroit, Compton and Brooklyn at midnight to get a shot," Nuez says. "My work is contemplative in precarious settings that make contemplation difficult, but I'm trying to dig deeper and stir up the past. I’ll look around and know there are stories on a corner, but there's no one to ask, so all you can do is imagine."