Deep Park is an ongoing series of chance portraits taken in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY. They are of people who I approached, or who approached me because they were curious about what I was doing with my rolling gear cart and large-format 8x10 film camera.
While, on the surface, the work may not appear all that political, this series of portraits -- of random and seemingly disparate people -- has been a very organic and physical reaction to the extreme polarization that has gripped this country since before the election. It's no coincidence that my need to go out and connect with "strangers" began during the campaign that let up to November, 2016.
Prospect Park is really the optimal microcosm of New York's profound diversity. My use of its natural assets as the backdrop somehow imparts additional political resonance, given that our public lands and environmental protections seem to be eroding by the minute, and climate change denial is now, incredibly, a governing principal.
The park itself was created in 1867, and was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calbert B. Vaux, who considered it to be their masterpiece. It's a vast organism, fertile with secret winding paths, infinite textures, and sounds. There are many unique 'neighborhoods' within it. The park's vibe, its undercurrent, can change depending on the hour of day, weather conditions and other incalculable factors. The lighting is always in flux. The park has become my ‘other studio’ -- one in which I don't have much control, an aspect that I find surprisingly liberating.
The project is my way of resisting the polarization, to take stock of the essential. And, hopefully, bring back some worthy pictures.