“DANIEL EFRAM has photographed intriguing characters in Spain, Portugal, France, Cuba and the US for years, but he continues to find his greatest subjects on the streets of his hometown of New York City. “Its sidewalks are my catwalks,” he says, confirming the cities are as much a subject as the people he photographs.
Street photographers like Weegee, Diane Arbus and Sylvia Plachy, are considered not just masters of the candid portrait, but as hunters and collectors of the odd, the unusual, the darkly fascinating. Efram’s work manages to move beyond the expected ‘trap and capture’ of his contemporaries, inviting his subjects to inhabit their space with an often unexpected edge. But Efram is motivated by empathy as much as energy. “Photography is not about embarrassing anyone,” he says fondly. “If anything, it’s about letting people… emerge or evolve into places and moments they’ve earned, that they’re entitled to and that I’m lucky enough to witness and memorialize.”
Efram’s style comes from a life of intense art immersion. Born to an activist social worker mother and a professional classical violist father in Poughkeepsie NY, Efram’s images draw from his love of film noir with a verité focus. “The dirty, grainy look of film, using vintage lenses, all those imperfections make me happy,” he admits. “Most contemporary photography just feels too clean and precise. I’m more interested in the distance between the subject and observer -- and seeing what I can get away with.”