Sean Colon, a Brooklyn native, is as unique with his personal style as he is in his work as a photographer. Always ahead of the curve, his fashion sense and professional life are influenced by the culture and design of steampunk.
Steampunk, if you don’t know, is influenced by the literature and design of the Victorian era and industrial revolution. As a design concept it started to gain awareness in the late 1980s, early 90s personified by the fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld.
Sean was originally attracted to the movement in 2003 influenced by the Victorian era sci-fi film, “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.” From there on Sean became increasingly interested in the culture including listening to bands that were influenced in both their musical and personal style by the steampunk movement. He surfed the web searching for sources carrying the clothes and accessories. At first available only on-line, in the past year two St. Marks Place stores Trash and Vaudeville and Gothic Renaissance started carrying steam punk lines. “It’s starting to get a little easier to find things but most people make their own costumes,” Sean notes. “Those tend to be the best costumes because they put their own time and imagination into it. It’s not mass produced so its always going to be one-of-a-kind.”
Sean tries to take what he buys and add his own pieces such as the “madhatter” by La China Loca. Sean’s look is certainly unique, evoking extremes of opinion. Personally I think it’s sensational!
This non-conformist style extends to Sean’s work as a photographer, “either people like it or they don’t.” Much of his work is “other worldly” which he creates by using false color infrared technique. His Coney Island series uses this technique to capture its “side show” character. Unlike others who consider Coney Island in its present state as an eyesore, Sean sees it differently. “I wanted people to see it as I do. I wanted to bring beauty to the emptiness through my images.” The final outcome of Coney Island remains unknown as various buyers buy and sell the property. The Boardwalk has been rejuvenated while the rest of this Brooklyn icon remains largely vacant and run down.
Sean encourages others to take photographs. “When you use a lens you view things in greater detail than you do with your own eyes. You start to see the world differently.”
Check out Sean Colon’s flicker page. His new blog gives detailed information about his images. It’s a work –in-progress so check back often for updates.