These days, it’s become easier than ever for photographers to share their work on social media networks. Image-centric apps like Instagram allow photographers to connect with a whole new audience. Although there are around 41.44 million photographers making an average of $18 per hour in the U.S., photographer Christian Serrano shared his haunting, beautiful, and sometimes vertigo-inducing images on Instagram for sheer love of his art and his city of New York.
Tragically, Serrano recently died in an attempt to capture another of his transfixing images. The 25-year old photographer was killed in early October while trying to surf the subway.
Serrano and a friend were traveling on the F Train through Brooklyn when the photographer moved between two of the cars in order to scale the train’s exterior. Investigators believe he may have collided with or been clipped by something as he tried to get on top of the car, and fell as a result. Some reports state that his fall may have been a result of being hit by a train going in the opposite direction. Serrano’s body was found near the entrance of the 4th Avenue/9th Street station entrance.
A toxicological report showed that Serrano was under the influence of drugs or alcohol during the subway surfing incident.
A Brooklyn, NY native, Serrano posted photos to Instagram under the username @heavy_minds, where he had over 118,000 followers. He was known for his unique and captivating photos of New York City (and especially his home borough of Brooklyn) and was an expert in urban exploration. Serrano often climbed on top of bridges and skyscrapers — places often banned from public travel — to capture his breathtaking and dizzying images.
Following his death, there has been an outpouring of comments from his thousands of fans. His followers have expressed their condolences, appreciation, and heartbreak. Serrano’s fans felt a clear connection to his artistry and his message. One follower expressed that he “was one of the people that made me start photography and he was a constant inspiration throughout the years.”