"Coney Island in Transition" Exhibition

Susan Eley Fine Art

poster for  "Coney Island in Transition" Exhibition

This event has ended.

Coney Island is many things to many people, now more than ever as the City, the Municipal Art Society, community and civic organizations and various developers clash about the future of this legendary amusement and resort Mecca.

For artists Gary Schwartz and Jay Hochheiser, boyhood friends growing up in the Luna Park apartment complex in the 1960s, Coney Island was home. Vacant lots and seedy, crime-ridden areas coexisted with remnants of spectacular amusement rides such as the stately Parachute Jump and the exotic bathing pavillions.The boys sensed Coney Island's magical past in the aroma of Turkish Taffy and cotton candy and lived its present riding the Wonder Wheel and Cyclone.

When Jay was 10, his family left Coney Island and the boys lost touch. They reconnected in 2006 when Gary invited Jay to attend his first exhibition at this gallery. One sunny day last summer, the two returned to the old neighborhood to visit old haunts, walk the boardwalk and enjoy a Nathan's hot dog. Jay's color photographs were created during that day. They at once provide a path into a glorious, exotic history of a place, while also bearing witness to the creeping decay. The vivid, hot palette and the energy of the people pictured communicate a sense of hope as a new community of Coney Islanders makes the landscape its home.

For the past several years, Gary has been painting scenes based on his own photographs of Coney Island, taken in the 1980s and 90s. After running the images through various Photoshop filters, Gary paints the scenes in Photorealist style. Yet, in a departure from pure Photorealism, Gary invents color and creates composites of actual sites, as if these filtered memories are more real to him than the places themselves.

This exhibition reflects an unearthing of a shared boyhood history, a revitalization of the past, not merely a nostalgic look back.



from March 12, 2009 to April 23, 2009

  • Facebook


    All content on this site is © their respective owner(s).
    New York Art Beat (2008) - About - Contact - Privacy - Terms of Use