Andre D. Wagner is a 2022 Gordon Parks Foundation Fellow.

When I moved to Bushwick, Brooklyn, in 2012, I knew nothing about the neighborhood. I grew up in Omaha, and spent my undergraduate years as a student athlete in Storm Lake, Iowa. I came to New York City to pursue a master’s degree in social work, but photography became my calling.

I got to know the Bushwick community through its joys and hardships. I befriended a kid living on my block, Cedric, and watched him grow. I witnessed a community garden on a busy corner get fenced off, demolished, and replaced with a condominium building. My camera was always at my side—it was once mistaken for a gun, but it has also opened the door to conversations and connections.

Photography has allowed me to understand the pure joy of kids playing on the street, the special bond between a father and daughter, or the feeling of a young brother lonely in a sea of people on 34th Street in Manhattan. It has allowed me to explore what it means to be a Black individual in a Black community, but also allowed me navigate the world outside it.

I have a responsibility to this place and these individuals, and I have a responsibility to understand my place within it. New City, Old Blues is just as much about the place as it is the photographer. 

– Andre D. Wagner, 2023

For more than a decade, Andre D. Wagner has explored and documented New York City street life, with a particular focus on the changing landscape of his Bushwick, Brooklyn neighborhood. Born in Omaha, Wagner moved to New York in 2011 to pursue a master's degree in social work, but photography became his calling. Wagner’s work and practice fits into the lineage of street photography that investigates the American social landscape and highlights themes of race, class, and social identity. He is also committed to photographic processes, developing his own black-and-white negatives and making gelatin silver prints in his personal darkroom. This exhibition, featuring over 100 photographs made between 2014 and 2023, pays homage to the history of street photography and includes never-before-seen film and audio recordings Wagner made in collaboration with his subjects. 

Wagner is a photographer living and working in Brooklyn, New York. His photographs have been commissioned by The New YorkerThe New York Times, Esquire, W Magazine,The Wall Street JournalThe Washington PostTime, and Vogue, among other publications. For the movie Queen & Slim Wagner photographed the iconic key art and the campaigns leading images. His photographs have appeared in a number of solo exhibitions and group shows in Los Angeles, New York and North Carolina. His first monograph, Here for the Ride, was published by Creative Future in 2017. He is currently editing a 10-year body of work titled New City, Old Blues.

Opening Event:
Jamel Shabazz in conversation with Andre D. Wagner
September 20, 2023
The Gordon Parks Foundation Gallery, Pleasantville, N.Y.
For more information click here.

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Andre D. Wagner


Production Company: Dan Klein Films. Executive Producer: Dan Klein. Director of Photography and Editor: Quinn Murphy. Production Coordinator: Carter Dutton-Kneaves.


Andre D. Wagner, Cedric, Bushwick, Brooklyn, 2014