sleepy urbanite photos by yvonne doll

posted by the scholar on January 2nd, 2008
filed under: art, artists, photography

look at these awesome nap snaps of folks snoozing on the local trains, from chicago artist and musician yvonne doll. to achieve her goals of creating impromptu art and capturing beauty in everyday moments, she sneaks discreet photos with her cell phone camera of people sleeping on the public transportation in the city and has compiled them all on her website, the sleepy urbanite. it’s a tranquil, poetic and peaceful collection of portraits with a ubiquitous theme – the brief and luxurious, drowsy, torpid moments of blissful slumber.












since being in close proximity to each subject is a requirement, i admire how she can connect with her subject, even as a sort of clandestine “undercover” artist. i enjoy the harsh artificial overhead light and natural light combinations, which give a very authentic taste of what it’s like to ride around the windy city on the el (frequently jarring and noisy but oh-so-quiet in these portraits). i also find it amusing that in many of these photos, other folks surrounding the sleeper succumb to the sweet idea of catching a quick cat nap too. i wonder if the ones that choose to stay awake are a little jealous.

see all the photos on yvonne’s website, and read her blog too, for one person’s unique glimpse of the residents of chicago.

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8 Responses to “sleepy urbanite photos by yvonne doll”

  1. sosser Says:

    these are amazing! there’s a story in that last shot…

  2. the scholar Says:

    hi sosser,

    doesn’t that girl look mad in that photo? i say she’s jealous that someone is snoring away while she is stressed out about having to go to a job she hates. or maybe she always looks like that?

    i guess this isn’t really improvisational or extemporaneous art, but yvonne makes it feel like it is. i think it’s great and i’m glad you like it too! 🙂

    thanks for the comment!

  3. technabob Says:

    I guess I better keep my eyes open on the train from now on. 🙂

  4. the scholar Says:

    hi bob,

    you are sleepy pete, so i don’t know if that is going to happen. watch out for cell phone cameras! 🙂

  5. Bri Says:

    These are really interesting studies. Maybe that girl in the last one is pissed because five seconds ago the stranger next to her was drooling on her shoulder and she pushed him off and is still stewing. Maybe?

  6. the scholar Says:


    AHAHAHAHA! i had not factored the drool in as consideration. nice imagination!!

    ooh! maybe she was in the middle of telling him a story and he fell asleep!


  7. paula Says:

    good stuff, I especially like YOUR take on it. very enjoyable!

  8. the scholar Says:

    hi paula,

    i know, isn’t this fun? beware of sleepiness in public places! if you go to yvonne’s site you can see tons more. i think she is very creative.

    great to see you! 🙂

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