JAC to feature work of displaced local artist

Jackson Avenue Coffee will get a taste of the Big Apple as a former Charleston resident displays his photography as their featured artist for September.

David Perkins, now a resident of New York City, will be displaying his photography, which aims to capture the beauty of the human body in motion and his passion for dance and fitness.

His exhibit will begin on Saturday at JAC and will run for the entire month of September.

Perkins explained that his fascination in the human form came from a long-time interest, and that even during school he drew people and sought books that would help improve his ability in doing so.

“The way the body can twist and bend and form lines and shapes, all the while conveying different thoughts and emotions, different aspects of the human condition, is truly amazing,” he said.

Although Perkins said he was always artistically inclined, photography was not his first career pursuit.

It was during his time at Lincoln Technical Institute in Indianapolis, where he earned a degree in automotive technology, that he began to focus on photography.

Returning after graduation, Perkins began work as an auto mechanic for Diepholz Automotive. It was not long before something gave.

“I stuck with photography and continued to research and teach myself, but at some point I realized that I needed more,” he said.

He chose to continue his efforts as a photographer by attending Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Savannah, Ga.

During one of Perkins’ courses, a professor informed him that The Savannah Arts Academy had posted an ad on Craigslist looking for photographers.

After one shoot, Perkins became the main photographer for The Savannah Arts Academy’s dance department, and he soon realized his passion for dance.

“Dancers are the masters of controlling the human body and they can do it with a power and an intensity that is awe inspiring,” he said. “It is that awe, the power and intensity and elegance and even the fragility of the human form that draws me to use dancers.”

Still, dance was not his first passion. He originally attended SCAD with the intent to do fashion photography. He soon found that pulling off a fashion shoot was difficult without the personnel, including stylists, makeup artists and hair stylists, and the backing of a fashion magazine.

Since dancers were readily available and shooting them required minimal set-up, Perkins said he began to change his focus.

“I still love doing (fashion work) and I intend to make it a part of my body of work, but I’m more concerned with dance and fitness at this point,” he said.

Perkins’ art can be found on his website, www.davidperkinsphotography.com, which includes an interactive catalogue of select photographs from his past and present works as well as contact information for anyone looking to get in touch with him.

Ethan Stephenson can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].