Summer Rental: Subway Sleepers by Linda Kessler

June 22 - June 26, 2016

Downstairs | 66 East 4th Street

Thursday to Friday: 11am-9pm; Saturday to Sunday: 2pm-9pm

Free Admission

Opening Reception: Wednesday, June 22 at 6pm-8 pm

Josephine Herrick Project is a non-profit organization that teaches photography programs to under resourced communities. Subway Sleepers is the work of JHP teaching artist Linda Kessler. Linda created the exhibition and taught photography to participants of the New York State Brain Injury Association, New York City Chapter.

Linda's Artist Statement:

Photographers are storytellers, and subway riders have inspired many photographers. Walker Evans is famously known for his photographs of subway riders. James Agee wrote about Evans in his 1941 book, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men: “Those who use New York subways are several millions…members of every race and nation of the earth…Each, also is an individual existence, as matchless as a thumbnail or a snowflake.”

I grew up riding the NYC subway. It was a long ride in the winter months from the Rockaways to Manhattan, sometimes up to two hours. I ate, read, studied, drew and slept on the train. The rocking motion created a place of comfort, even in the wild graffiti-strewn subway cars of the 1970s. It was a warm and personal experience, surrounded by New Yorkers, strangers.

Subway Sleepers is a documentation of humanity. The photographs in this exhibition were shot within a period of five years, 2010 – 2015. They were photographed in the early morning hours during rush hour when most people were on their way to work. However, these images were captured on the train going in the opposite direction of Manhattan, toward Brooklyn. They were not the neatly suited straphangers or fashionable women touching up their face with shiny lipstick. Unnoticed, there is an intimacy, a truth which is revealed.