NYPD Sketchers work on display

Det. Jason Harvey is one of the New York Police Department's three sketch artists. Harvey has been with NYPD for 16 years and drawing for 11 of those.

Detective Jason Harvey is one of the New York Police Department's three sketch artists.  Harvey has been with NYPD for 16 years and drawing for 11 of those.

Now through Jan. 10, he has some of his work on display at Fort Gansevoort in the Meatpacking District.

The exhibit titled "Fantasy Composites" features 26 sketches of fictional characters.

The idea came from filmmaker Josh Safdie. He follows the NYPD on Twitter and is a fan of Harvey's work. 

“He was trying to get in touch with me for years and one day he reached through and he said ‘You know I like your work and I know a gallery owner named Adam’ and he gave me his number and we started talking about what we can do,” Harvey said.

Safdie originally wanted to use the actual sketches of suspects. However, since they are evidence, it wasn't possible. 

Harvey explained that the process begins with an interview of victim or witness.

"We'll show them some photographs, and then from there we'll put together a composite, which is various pieces and parts into one graphic image. From there we'll show it to them and they'll say this looks good/ this looks bad," Harvey said.

Sometimes it's difficult for victims to recall the information because they have a block from the traumatic situation.

So although the drawing skills are important, artists must be patient and good listeners. It can be a tedious process that takes up to three hours.

Harvey’s ‘Fantasy Composites’ Sketches are for sale at $2,000 each.

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