Columns on fashion, culture and ideas

Art & Culture / Ten Tales

Coke Wisdom O'Neal, Photographer

Filmmaker Poppy de Villeneuve asks ten creatives from London and New York to share their true selves with us

Photographer Coke Wisdom O’Neal has continued to learn his trade and develop his vision over the last decade without any traditional training. Driven by both passion and paycheck he has created a variety of work that challenges traditional portraiture...

Photographer Coke Wisdom O’Neal has continued to learn his trade and develop his vision over the last decade without any traditional training. Driven by both passion and paycheck he has created a variety of work that challenges traditional portraiture. Placing his subjects in 20-something-feet-tall wooden boxes atop pedestals, and secretly photographing them by the contents of their medicine cabinets, he continues to turn conventional photography on its head. O’Neal’s work has received much praise and is in several prestigious collections, including the West Family Collection and the Progressive Art Collection. The 38-year-old currently lives in Red Hook, Brooklyn, with his son Mercury, whom he describes as his proudest achievement in life, and his most valuable possession – a 4x5 camera. Here he philosophises about the “necessity” of love, and talks candidly about his regrets.

Text By Lucia Davies


Poppy de Villeneuve is a photographer and film director. She shoots regularly for the New York Times, The Telegraph, and Vogue. Her most recent film project involved five short films set in Central Park for the New York Times. In 2010, several of her works were exhibited at Colette in Paris.

Lucia Davies is a Project Manager at Jonny Lu Studio and a freelance writer who has contributed to titles including AnOther Magazine, Dazed & Confused, The Independent and Wonderland.

Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter for weekly updates