Photoville: NYC’s Free Premier Photo Destination Is Back


It's impossible to keep up with everything going on in NYC this time of year (and once the slate of "prestige" fall movies kicks in, oy, forget about it), but if you're not totally booked already for this coming weekend, one of my favorite September adventures will be going on strong in Brooklyn Bridge Park, the annual photographic-exhibitions-in-shipping-containers show, Photoville. Now in its fourth year, and one of the largest, most heavily-attended photo events in the country, Photoville gathers together the work of some 400 artists, from local students at Pratt and SVA to internationally-renowned Pulitizer Prize-winners, and creates a vibrant little village at the Pier 5 uplands in which to display their work, complete with food, drinks, and plenty of conviviality. Here's what you need to know…


America's Largest Photo Show Is Back In NYC

The photography shown at Photoville definitely skews to the journalistic side of things (as opposed to more abstract, fine-art stuff), which, in addition to often being immediately compelling, also means that many of the 62 individual exhibitions deeply reward your time spent reading about the people and events depicted therein. Adding to your understanding and appreciation (and to the overall appeal of the event for me): many of the photographers whose work was chosen this year are standing right there outside their shipping container, and are happy to chat with you, and answer questions. Or, at least, they were happy to chat on opening day… maybe they've growing weary of questions at this point? Anyway, it's always one of my favorite parts about Photoville, the accessibility of the photographers, who can tell some amazing stories behind the shots.  


What You'll See At Photoville

There really is a remarkable range of subjects at Photoville 2015, and with this many individual exhibitions you're obviously going to like some more than others, but among those that I found to be the most powerful and engaging would be Blast Force Survivors, which are photographs by Lynn Johnson of veterans with their families, their disfigured faces covered in masks; Dougie Wallace's Stags, Hens, and Bunnies, scenes of forced debauchery during what the Brits call the bachelor / bachelorette parties that have recently plagued the Northern England seaside town of Blackpool (yes, everybody's drunk and awful); When Living Is a Protest, which showcases a dozen or so searing portraits of black men in America; Upstate Girls, a group show depicting life today in the quintessentially "Rust Belt" city of Troy, NY; and the Jeanette Beckman-curated Down and Dirty, featuring literally hundreds of snapshot-sized pictures of famous musicians (mostly rock and hip-hop stars) from the 1970s to now.


For More Information on Photoville

Photoville 2015 is located at Pier 5 in Brooklyn Bridge Park, and runs through this Sunday, September 20 only. Photoville is open on Thursday and Friday from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., on Saturday from 12:00 noon to 10:00 p.m., and on Sunday from 12:00 to 8:00. Admission is free. Smorgasburg is in charge of the food and drinks at the site's outdoor Beer Garden, which makes Photoville not only a terrific art exhibition, but also a fun, pleasant place to hang out.


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