Fashion photographer Nick Knight collaborated with American Express to host a real-time urban photography exhibit on Twitter.

The way we consume art is evolving as digital innovations bleed into the creative world. Admiring the Mona Lisa no longer means hopping on a plane and jetting to Paris, because the Louvre has an official app that lets you soak in the iconic painting from the palm of your hand. Technology also allows art to be immortalized –the Google Street Art Project lets you view fleeting graffiti art around the globe online. Cut to the latest fusion of tech and art, photographer Nick Knight’s real-time urban photography exhibition, a gallery breaking free of museum walls and displayed exclusively on Twitter.

Fashion photographer Nick Knight is collaborating with American Express to create #MySecretCity, an exhibition dedicated to unveiling the hidden beauty in the streets of London. The real-time gallery kicked off on the American Express Twitter account on Thursday, and aims at engaging locals often too absorbed in their devices to appreciate the urban ambiance. Knight commented about the project,

I’m really excited to be involved in the first real-time exhibition of its kind, set in the city that gives me so much inspiration for my work. The poetry of roses, the beauty of architecture, both classical and modern and the vast array of human relationships and cultures caught up in the flow of communication between millions of people and their actions. All these different tempos of life flowing over each other. I feel our familiarity with the place we live can make us miss the brilliance that is all around us, which is why I’ve teamed up with American Express to celebrate this wonderful city and help people see its hidden beauty. To show the things that are always there but so often go unseen. London’s hidden treasures.

The inspiration behind the social media-centric exhibition was sparked by a study American Express conducted that suggests that Brits are stuck on ‘Urban Autopilot’ – research revealed that when exploring everyday surroundings, seven out of ten are looking down at their smartphones and tablets. That is a lot of craned necks.

“The cities we live in are brimming with potential, although we may only appreciate a fraction of what they have to offer. As a fashion photographer, Nick has consistently challenged conventional notions of beauty. We’ve challenged him to re-imagine his commute to work and take a look at other sides to London, in the hope that they inspire others to realize the potential of their city,” Vice President Brand and Communications of American Express Melissa Weber said.

Knight’s imagery captures unexpected local gems, from the telescopic view of St. Paul’s Cathedral to a sprawling field of wild flowers to industrial train tracks running through the Willesden hills. Perhaps the awe-inspiring series of photos in locals’ Twitter feeds will give them incentive to feast their eyes on the world away from the screen.

Photos: American Express

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