New Haven Photographs: A Future History

New Haven Photographs - Daniel Eugene 

Daniel Eugene

Daniel Eugene is an artist and photographer based in New Haven, CT.

Eugene explores history and experience through a personal lens, creating stories and exhibiting the unseen details of his surroundings. After previously focusing on drawings and more physical mediums, Eugene has now made a transition into photography after working with his mentor, artist and designer John T. Hill, who along with his colleague Alvin Eisenman, founded Yale’s first department of photography in 1971.

Eugene is greatly inspired by photographer Walker Evans’s idea of “Lyric Documentary” and believes that in photography there is the opportunity to reveal more than something just material and physical, but rather it is able to “concentrate the magnitude of human existence into a single image.” Much of his work is motivated by themes of the cosmic and mystical influences in our lives and experiences.

Eugene’s photography revolves around New Haven and its many colorful communities. For example, Eugene has an ongoing photo documentary project called #NHVdrag where he captures the beauty of the New Haven drag community on film. He was fascinated by the energy of New Haven’s drag scene, especially Partners Café, and the way that the performers were able to embody a whole new character, merging the lines between the masculine and feminine. He saw their performances as a way to “combat the heteronormativity of history” and wanted to showcase that through his photos.

This spring and summer Eugene will be exploring New Haven and pursuing his photo journalistic style; finding the “nooks and crannies” and overlooked places in his hometown.