Interviews by Guy Harrington
Introduced by Zoë Heller
In 2008 Jason Bell undertook an assignment for American Vogue at ‘Tea & Sympathy’, an English tea room in the heart of Manhattan. In conversation with the owner, Nicky Perry, he was astonished to discover that over 120,000 British men and women lived in New York City. As an Englishman, himself living in New York, Jason was inspired by this and decided to investigate further. His latest book An Englishman in New York is the result.
The book documents a wide cross-section of English people living in the City. It features taxi drivers, cops, construction workers, divers, helicopter pilots, chefs, burlesque dancers, drug dealers, UN ambassadors and even dog walkers. Jason was also struck by the significant influence that many Brits exercise on New York’s cultural agenda, which led to him to include amongst his subjects: writer, Zoë Heller; director, Stephen Daldry; artists, Cecily Brown and Bill Jacklin; Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Thomas P Campbell; historian, Simon Schama; actor, Kate Winslet; and the musician, Sting.
The book offers an extraordinary insight into the British sub-culture which forms an intrinsic part of everyday life in New York City. As Bell says, ’I went for a walk in Central Park with Sting, for a cup of tea on Kate Winslet’s roof terrace, sat on Zoë Heller’s stoop and watched Stephen Daldry cycle down 8th Avenue. I was given a private tour of both the Metropolitan Museum and Barneys’ shop windows. And amidst all the questions about why people had come here and what they had left behind, I learnt a little bit more about what it means to be English, what it means to be a New Yorker, and where the two intersect.’
Born in London, Jason Bell’s work regularly appears in the world's leading publications including Vanity Fair and Vogue (US & UK) and he has shot the film posters for Billy Elliot, About a Boy, Bridget Jones, Love Actually and Golden Compass amongst others. Critically acclaimed, he has been the recipient of several awards including a New York Photo Award, The Royal Photographic Society Terence Donovan Award and a US National Press Photographers Award. Many of his photographs have been acquired by the National Portrait Gallery for their permanent collection. Jason now lives in both London and New York. This is his fourth book.
65 colour photos. 280mm x 335 mm