The New Yorker’s Photo Desk Put Devin Allen in Charge of Their Instagram for Several Days

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Allen posted this image from outside the Gilmor Homes, titled “R.I.P Freddie Gray,” as his final shot last night. Image via The New Yorker/Instagram.

All 512,000 followers of The New Yorker photo desk’s Instagram likely noticed Devin Allen’s iconic photography of the Baltimore Uprising at some point this week.

Allen, who rose to international fame in spring of 2015 while documenting the societal fallout following Freddie Gray’s death in police custody, was put in charge of the account this week. The New Yorker has invited a guest photographer to run the account for days-long stints for the last several years.

Allen posted 23 photos, all of them taken right here in Baltimore. The last one, shown above, ran last night.

You’ll recognize certain images, such as the famous shot that landed his work on the cover of TIME Magazine, or “Boiling Point,” which depicts three young Baltimoreans stomping in a police cruiser’s windshield, or “Fearless,” showing a boy staring down heavily armored officers wearing helmets and wielding shields.

Allen explained some of his background and love for black and white photography in a caption accompanying many of the photos: “Being from West Baltimore and studying artists like Gordon Parks who inspired my black and whites, I felt no one could document the story like I could. Even though I got my first camera in 2013 and I was fairly new to the world of photography only having two years of experience, I was ready. So I took to streets documenting it all the good the bad and everything in between.”

A lot has changed in the two years since Allen’s art reached the global spotlight. He’s been awarded a spot as one of the two first-ever Gordon Parks Fellows, has presented his photos in an exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, and had his own book, “A Beautiful Ghetto,” published by Chicago’s Haymarket Books. The latter contains many of the shots that ran on the famed New York literary publication’s feed this past week.

Those seeking more surreal images of Baltimore from Allen’s lens can follow him on Instagram at @bydvnlln.

Ethan McLeod
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