Elias Williams is a portrait and fine art documentary photographer based in New York. His work focuses on long-term projects that focus on underrepresented communities and mental health. His work has been showcased and published in the LaGuardia Gallery of Photographic Arts, Morris Museum, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, International Photo Festival Leiden, L'oeil de la Photographie, AARP, Buzzfeed News, ESPN's The Undefeated, NPR, NBC News, The New York Times and National Geographic. Elias is also a 2017 Magnum Foundation Photography & Social Justice Fellow and a recipient of the Bronx Council on the Arts' "Bronx Recognizes it's Own" award.
2017 - Magnum Foundation Fellowship, 2017 - Bronx Council on the Arts' BRIO award
My hometown St. Albans, located in Southeast Queens, NY, is a predominantly African-American and Caribbean-American middle-class neighborhood. During the late 1930's, St. Albans was one of the few places in New York City where Black Americans could pursue the dream of homeownership and owning a business. Over the years, many notable Black entertainers and athletes once walked these streets. James Brown, John Coltrane, Count Basie, Lena Horne, Billie Holiday, Milt Hinton, Ella Fitzgerald and Jackie Robinson are only a few of the famed names to call St. Albans home at some point in their life.
In 2008, St. Albans and other Southeast Queens communities would become the heart of mortgage fraud due to the housing crisis. Through portraiture, still-life, and landscape, "St. Albans" highlights the richness of an underrepresented community, and class of Black Americans, through lingering effects of economic downturn.