From now until July 1st 40 old shipping containers will be the home to some of Brooklyn’s own photographs in what is being called a “photographic village.” The containers will be placed in an empty part of Brooklyn Bridge Park at Pier 3 where 27 separate exhibits will be on display.
United Photo Industries is the organization putting on the event. Creative director of UPI, Sam Barzilay describes the event as “a sort of photographic village or a country fair for photography.”
Barzilay explains that there is no other venue where an event like this one could take place.
“There’s never going to be enough galleries in New York City,” he commented. He explained that landlords are not willing to donate their empty storefronts now that the lethargic real estate market seems to be making a slow but steady comeback.
“We clearly as a startup can’t go out and rent out a giant space in Chelsea, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make great shows.” Barzilay added.
The photographic fair will feature photographers from all over the world, but there will be a special emphasis on homegrown, Brooklyn artists. Large format photos will also be displayed on a fence from Pier 3 towards Pier 1, while food trucks, a beer garden and a dog run will also be available to visitors.
“If you go to Chelsea or SoHo, you’re not going to walk in with a dog. You’ll feel funny. We’re saying this is about being inclusive. It’s about actually getting people to have fun and see good photography,” Barzilay said. “If you have a dog, come with your dog. If you have a child, come with your child.”
Among the Brooklyn photographers on exhibit are Russell Frederick, 41, of Bedford Stuyvesant. He has been photographing people in his neighborhood for over 12 years.
“When I told people where I lived, they would cringe, and they would get all nervous and make comments like I must have a bulletproof vest on me,” Frederick said. “I just would laugh, because I knew the community was much different than that people thought.”
Frederick is looking forward to the more diverse crowd which is sure to be attracted to the photo fair.
"A larger audience which would not even think of going to a gallery, it would not even be on their radar, one way to engage them and introduce them to something new is to new is to put it in their backyards,” he said.