The Old One Two is a series by photographer Devin Yalkin that began formulating the first time he heard about Friday Night Throwdown. Taking place in random and unpredictable venues scattered across New York City, the event is totally illegal and unsanctioned and attracts fighters as vast as veteran marines to male models.
Overwhelmed by the vitality of the fighters and the spectators, Yalkin sought to capture not just the fight, but the raw, unbridled energy of the entire scene. Instead of documenting the aesthetic of “matter-of-fact, clean, and pristine” boxing images you usually see, he wanted to create something more abstract and transient. There is no singular “decisive moment,” rather a series of moments that make up the experience of Friday Night Throwdown.
In each photograph, Yalkin wants the viewer to feel a sense of what he felt as he was shooting. He describes the experience as chaotic, loud, noisy and physically aggressive and his photos perfectly portray this. “My relationship to my camera, my subjects, how in or out of focus the picture is as well as the framing, all depend on my levels of intimacy, fervency and comfort with the situation.”
All images © Devin Yalkin