Mangled Umbrella Photos Put A Staple Of City Life In The Spotlight

Navigating the streets of big cities makes for countless shared experiences. One such phenomenon is the well-known site of a corner-store umbrella lying disfigured during a rainstorm.

Photographer Drew Anthony Smith decided that the discarded umbrellas were a worthy artistic subject after being enthralled with what almost amounts to a New York City ritual. Smith told Fast Company how he hauled bags of umbrellas back to his apartment after a storm to photograph them under studio lights. The name of the series? New York City Blowjob.

Clever title aside, Smith’s project follows a long history of photographers archiving variations in the everyday. Taking something otherwise overlooked and aestheticising it is a great way to shed new light on an aspect of life. In this case, the umbrellas recall the frustrations of urban living, and the mundane experiences and artifacts that unite a place of such vast diversity.

To see some of Drew Anthony Smith’s documentary and commercial projects, visit his website.