IN A WORLD OF THEIR OWN: CONEY ISLAND PHOTOGRAPHS BY AARON ROSE
MAY 9 – AUG 3, 2014
This is a delightful and insightful show of Rose’s photographs—the exhibit opens tomorrow. This is the epitome of street photography although all photos were taken on the beaches of Coney Island.
The Museum of the City of New York:
When Aaron Rose began photographing Coney Island in 1961, he bypassed the bluster of the theme parks and sideshows for the more intimate interactions of beach dwellers. Wielding his camera surreptitiously, observing as if from a neighboring blanket, Rose documented a “sun-baked melting pot” of beachgoers of all ages, ethnicities, and walks of life, each one utterly not self-conscious, absorbed in a world of their own.
The beach as seen in Rose’s pictures is a way of life: the great equalizer welcoming the young, middle-aged and elderly. There’s a lot to be learned from this show.
One of the earliest art photographers to use C-print paper and chromogenic processing, Rose made images with rosy tans and cool whites that were inspired by the summer skin tones he saw around him. The 70 images on display in this exhibition capture a palpable sense of the manners and mores of 1960s New Yorkers at their most unguarded; as photography critic Vince Aletti noted, “the work’s easy rapport and its casual erotic charge are thrilling and touchingly sweet.” Aaron Rose’s Coney Island is “a place where privacy is a state of mind.”
The UK’s Daily Mail wrote: Rose’s photos do not shy away from strangers’ most private moments, often in closeup, as they appear blissfully unaware that they are being photographed at all. The artist explained that in order to achieve that effect and allow people to behave naturally around him and his camera, he had to move very quickly and be almost invisible to those around him.
Photography critic Vince Aletti has described Rose’s Coney Island photographs as remarkably intimate portraits of people relaxing as if in the privacy of their own homes.
Discover more about this remarkable show of Aaron Rose’s work.