Philadelphia native Khalif Rivers is a self-taught photographer interested in capturing the remnants of “Old Philadelphia” via the city’s unique industrial, commercial, and residential architecture. He possesses an uncanny ability to express emotion within urban landscapes containing little to no human expression. His work resonates with both former and current long-term Philadelphians alike.
As a native Philadelphian I have always loved the city’s beautiful, aging architecture. The ubiquity of its row homes and industrial buildings are undeniable. Growing up, the naiveté of youth and perceived steadfastness of my surroundings convinced me that the Philadelphia I knew at that time would persist for the foreseeable future. Life would lead me away from my hometown for several years, though I eventually returned as a young adult. Upon re-settling in the city, I noticed that not only had it changed, but it was continuing to do so at a rapid pace.
I am fueled by an intrinsic obligation to freeze my ever-evolving city in time and capture its beauty and character. I utilize the medium of photography to actualize that vision. Photography intersects with my interests in history and storytelling, which together allow me to inject emotion and context into the seemingly lifeless cityscapes featured in my work. My goal is to make the emotions living within my photos accessible to viewers, as well as provide them the opportunity to share their own experiences and interpretations.
Woog, Dan, "Khalif Rivers: The ABCs Of Photography," 06880 - Where Westport meets the world, July 31, 2020