CONEY ISLAND June 2006
Since having relocated to NYC, I have visited Coney Island three times. Naturally, I could not resist documenting the spectacular decay surrounding Astroland. Such an inclination is by no means special, as many artists and tourist have proven over the decades. Indeed, the area surrounding Astroland lends itself to being photographed. However, I feel compelled to share what I consider a very personal and moving experience. Perhaps best communicated through parts 1 and 3, my interests lie in contrasts: floating/solid, fun/decay, fantasy/urban.
Part 1: Hazy Daytime.
Bruno Lansco. This sign was painted by artist Bruno Peinado, in conjunction with the “Dreamland Artist Club” exhibition by Creative Time. These people didnt hire me, but I still like their projects. I took this picture because I was struck by the symmetrical contrast between Pienedo’s aesthetic “kitsch” sign, and the overlaid and very much anti-aesthetic “LANSCO” sign. The implied discord between art and vacancy seems appropriate for Coney Island.
Towers of Fun. I could not get enough of Coney Island’s sobering backdrop of public housing towers. Astroland’s fantasy spectacle of fun is forever tempered by this very real and unchanging urban condition.
Part 2: Mermaid Parade 2006
Part 3: Nightime Egress