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James de Leon ‘Garden of Eden’

NYC photographer James de Leon spent a blustery, blue hour on that snowy hilltop in Ithaca with Eden Tijerina. “What kept me warm was the hilarity of the Cornell students at that hilltop observatory who would not acknowledge us. While they studiously attended to their research, James & I couldn’t stop laughing as they completely avoided glancing at an insane-looking woman in formal dress hike up layers of velvet & silk, tripping over high heels in the midst of the quickly thickening snow, & a man with a hefty Pentax 67 earnestly trying to nail the perfect shot quickly so we wouldn’t freeze to death.”

Eden is photographed with a style reminiscent of the 1940s with rare outfits that project her sovereign beauty. James beautifully describes his version of their stunning collaboration. “The Jeep laboured up the hill as the winter’s first barrage of snow enveloped us, a reverse snow globe, the heat venting a plastic interior, Eden in the passenger seat. We talked about the Charlie Kaufman film, “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”, the situation itself self-referencing a scene from the movie. At the time, neither of us could conjure the exact quote, which I will do for you now:

“People like to think of themselves as points moving through time, but I think it’s probably the opposite. We’re stationary & time passes through us, blowing like cold wind, stealing our heat, leaving us chapped & frozen.”

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