With Heavy Hearts We Remember @Heavy_Minds

In this day and digital age, it’s not uncommon for amateur and professional photographers alike to turn to Instagram and click share on their most recent snaps, leaving us to scroll through their stunning feeds for hours on end.

(Above: Photo by Christopher Serrano)

However, this past week thousands of fans – not to mention family, friends and loved ones – lost one of their favourites. Christopher Serrano, a 25-year-old Brooklyn native and daring artist behind the @Heavy_Minds Instagram account, tragically passed away last Wednesday while trying to capture one of his notoriously mind-blowing shots. Gothamist reports that while trying to climb on top of an F train heading to Coney Island, the young photographer was struck and killed just before 5 a.m. on October 5th, near the Fourth Avenue/9th Street station. Sources for the New York Post added, “Investigators believe Serrano may have been clipped by something as the train was rolling into or out of the Fourth Avenue/9th Street station in Gowanus.”

(Above: Photo by Christopher Serrano )

The prolific city photographer was adored by his 115k+ followers, but it’s his family and loved ones who truly feel the sobering heartbreak of his sudden absence. His girlfriend, Vicky Steele, took to Instagram to express the sorrow that accompanied her unforeseen loss. “Christopher, you showed me what true happiness and true love really felt like,” she wrote in a caption. “The memories and experiences I've had with you will forever be in my mind and my heart. Losing you is losing myself, we went so well together.” Christopher’s brother Ryan also sent the deceased young man a message via Instagram, expressing, “I lost my brother today. My first best friend. I'll never forget our adventures.” He finished the touching tribute off by promising his late brother, “This house will never be the same without you.” As much as Christopher undoubtedly impacted the lives of his dedicated fans, it is unimaginable to conceive just how deeply he must have touched the lives of those who got to walk, talk and experience everyday life with him.

(Above: Photo of Vicky Steele by Christopher Serrano)

Despite his untimely death, it was Christopher’s unique perspective from behind the camera’s lens that brought so much life to his vivid shots of NYC and Brooklyn. As the New York Magazine put it, “outlaw Instagrammers have more in common with graffiti artists, another subculture of underground creatives who make their work in the cracks of the urban landscape.” Taken from various off-limit locations and points of view rarely experienced by his devoted following, Christopher’s innovative photography invited viewers to experience a whole new side of their city; from the rare moments of quiet and aloneness along snow-smothered streets to the gravity-defying shots of his legs dangling precariously above a busy avenue thousands of feet below, Christopher’s artistry knew no limits, and was all the more awe-inspiring for it.

(Above: Photo by Christopher Serrano)


All images obtained from Christopher Serrano, Ryan Serrano, and Vicky Steele's Instagram accounts