Exhibit Shows Change and Diversity in Brooklyn From the 1960s to Now

Photo by Sergio Purtell via BRIC


    Brooklyn’s changed a lot since the 1960s, and sometimes the changes can be a bit tough to visualize for those who didn’t live through them. Thanks to a group of photographers and BRIC, an exhibit will bring these scenes of the borough to life.

    The exhibit, called Brooklyn Photographs, features the work of 11 photographers and captures life in the borough from the 1960s to the present day. The exhibit is curated by Elizabeth Ferrer, BRIC’s VP of Contemporary Art, whose decades living in Brooklyn in part inspired the show.

    “I’m a longtime Brooklynite and have watched the borough continually change, develop, gentrify, and become home to new communities,” Ferrer told Brownstoner. “It’s exciting to live in Brooklyn today but gentrification is a real issue — the change has both positive and negative results that directly impact individuals and whole communities. I was interested in curating a show that shows Brooklyn’s diversity over time, and how our borough is continually in a state of evolution.”

    The photgraphers featured in the exhibit are Yolanda Andrade, Stefanie Apple, Nelson Bakerman, Leigh Davis, Leigh Davis, Max Kozloff, George Malave, Meryl Meisler, Patrick D. Pagnano, Sergio Purtell, Larry Racioppo, and Russell Frederick.

    One photo in the exhibit by Sergio Purtell shows the famous Coignet Building at the corner of 3rd Avenue and 3rd Street in Gowanus. For decades a crumbling and mysterious wreck, now the landmark, an early concrete building, is surrounded by Brooklyn’s first Whole Foods, which spent $1.3 million restoring it as part of a deal with the city.

    The iconic Kentile Floors sign in the photo’s background was taken down in 2014 — all signs of a once-derelict, formerly industrial Brooklyn giving way to new development.

    Ferrer went on to add that the photographs serve as an important visual reminder of a Brooklyn gone by.

    “Brooklyn seems to be changing and developing at an ever quicker rate. It is also the home to so many newcomers. As a result, we forget what life and places were like. Photography helps us remember; it becomes the visual memory of people and times,” she said.

    Brooklyn Photographs runs from September 7 to October 29 at the Gallery at BRIC House at 647 Fulton Street in Fort Greene. For more information on the exhibit or the artists involved, click here.

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