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Monday, 26 December 2011

The Magical World According to Carlos

 Carlos sells "The Big Issue" magazine on Motcomb street, one of London’s classier streets, at least he was when I rushed passed him early December with a brief glance in his direction. He was juggling a magazine from one hand to another with a big old smile on his face that you simply couldn’t ignore ...along with the stomach clenching piercing in his ears... You know the one that makes a gaping hole in the earlobe and your stomach somersault?

Anyway, ignore him I did as I rushed passed with a barely a fleeting smile in his direction as I headed towards my local newsagent, berating myself for not having stopped once in there.

“Tell him you don’t read the Big Issue and give him a £1. Just so you know...he is a very talented photographer, he is planning an exhibition too. Ask him...he’ll show you some of his work.
So out I went, back towards the juggling Carlos.

"The Big Issue" is a weekly street magazine written by professional journalists and sold by homeless individuals. The vendors purchase it for £1; sell it for £2, keeping a pound for themselves. This is an opportunity for them to earn a legitimate buck and reintegrate themselves into mainstream society.

I gave him a £1 and told him that I had heard that he was a photographer which he was visibly flattered by and as I turned to leave after our brief chat, he called out to me and  handed me a couple of postcards of his work. I could have left and never seen what Carlos saw when he peered through his viewfinder and that would have been a doggone shame.
Honestly? I don’t know what I was expecting... but what I wasn’t expecting was to actually like what I saw. More than that...I was taken in first by the haunting images before me and then the look of unadulterated pride on Carlos’ face when I told him so. With his permission, I have printed them here for all to see,enjoy them and visit his unpretentious site for more.

Moral of the Story: next time you rush by a seller of "The Big Issue" don’t render him invisible by your lack of interest or time... (which we are all guilty of doing). Once in a while stop.... you may even meet Carlos or another budding artist in the making.

I urge you to visit Carlos’ site and see for yourself; there is far more than meets the eye and what an eye he has.


photo by Carlos Gonzalez Perez*copyright*

San Francisco:Photo printed with permission from Carlos Gonzalez Perez*copyright*


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