Attitude: Brooklyn Portraits by Brooklyn Photographers

February 8, 2011 - April 9, 2011
Central Library, Grand Lobby
by Michael Scott Berman, Joe Delano, Walker

Esner, Lauren Fleishman and Nora Herting

BPL - Exhibition, Attitude, Joe Delano, 4th Avenue Project, 2009 BPL - Exhibition, Attitude, Lauren Fleishman, Love Ever After (Yevgeniy Kissin and Lyubov Kissin), 2008BPL - Exhibition, Attitude, Michael Scott Berman, Aniamal Blessing, Park Slope, 2000 BPL - Exhibition, Attitude, Nora Herting, Face of Brooklyn

Clockwise from top left:
4th Avenue Project, 2008, © Joe Delano
Love Ever After (Yevgeniy Kissin and Lyubov Kissin), 2008, ©Lauren Fleishman
Face of Brooklyn, 2008, ©Nora Herting
Animal Blessing, Park Slope, 2000, © Michael Scott Berman


The photographers in this exhibition offer their own interpretation of Brooklyn and its residents. Each Brooklynite has a certain quality of down-to-earth frankness, self-acceptance and absence of pretense. Brooklyn has earned a reputation for being a no-frills sort of place where people tell it like it is.

Michael Scott Berman
I like street photography when it tells a good story. Robert Frank and Henri Cartier-Bresson are two of my favorite photographers. I also like portraits that display engaging moments and emotions between people, such as the work of Tina Barney.

All of my photos in this exhibition are of people in their familiar Brooklyn environments.

Michael Scott BermanMichael Scott Berman is a photographer whose past clients include the New York Daily News, the Guardian and PNC Bank. He was the recipient of two grants from the Brooklyn Arts Council and has exhibited his work at the Leica Gallery in Manhattan and at Brooklyn Borough Hall. He earned a BA in English from New York University and a MBA from Georgetown University.

To contact Michael Scott Berman: | |


Joe Delano
For this project, I was inspired by Richard Avedon's series In the American West. His use of natural light, a white background and a large-view camera helped to create life-size portraits of everyday folks in middle America. His portraits are filled with sadness, isolation and curiosity.

The portraits in my exhibition are my attempt to give a face to those living and working on the stretch of Fourth Avenue parallel to the Gowanus Canal. I have lived in this area for more than seven years, and I have witnessed its transformation. Through gentrification and the real estate boom, many businesses and industries have been pushed out. I want this body of work to act as a visual documentation of this area, before it is dominated by retail chains and condos.

Joe DelanoJoe Delano is a New York-based photographer. In 2010 he had a solo exhibition at Magasin Totale Showroom in Brooklyn. He earned a BA at Hampshire College.

To contact Joe Delano:


Walker Esner
With this project, I documented the presence a person emanates when they are halted and observed in their environment. I played with the idea that the subject can be attuned to their natural surroundings and also be a distinctly separate entity. The environment around them further reveals who they are as individuals. I take major consideration of my frame and search for subtle quirks and surprises within highly structured photographs.

I am inspired by the classic formal portrait made by photographers like August Sander. I am also influenced by artists such as Sylvia Plachy, Bill Brandt, Ralph Steadman, William Eggleston, Joel Sternfeld, Wes Anderson, Greg Miller, Francis Ford Coppola, Terrence Malick, Terry Gilliam, the Coen brothers and the television show Breaking Bad.

Walker EsnerWalker Esner is a New York City-based photographer. He has exhibited his work at the Mentors show at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. He has also published editorial work in numerous magazines, such as OVERFLOW and Edible. He earned a BFA in photography from the School of Visual Arts.

To contact Walker Esner: |


Lauren Fleishman
After my grandfather's death, I found a series of love letters that he had written to my grandmother in a book next to his bed. They had been married for more than 50 years.

This project is intended as a photographic series of "love letters." The dominant portraiture of my series consists of Brooklyn couples who have been together for more than 50 years. This work includes photographs, voice recordings and text.

Lauren FleishmanLauren Fleishman is a photographer whose clients include Businessweek, Esquire, the Fader, the New York Times and Time magazine. She was included in American Photography for four consecutive years and was an award recipient in the 2007 Photo District News Photo Annual for her Time magazine work entitled Sixteen Candles. She is also a recipient of a 2010 residency with the Camera Club of New York. She earned a BFA from the School of Visual Arts and studied at École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-arts in Paris, France.

To contact Lauren Fleishman: |


Nora Herting
The starting point of this project was a grant I received from the Brooklyn Historical Society to make original artwork inspired by the society's original photo archive. I found this collection was comprised largely of affluent New England families. In my project, I granted pictorial representation to a larger spectrum of the borough's residents.

To capture a truly wide demographic of the people of Brooklyn, I loaded the components of a portrait studio into a laundry cart and erected outdoor portrait studios at public parks and spaces throughout Brooklyn, including McCarren Park, Prospect Park, Washington Square, Midwood, Red Hook Ball Fields, Fort Greene Park and Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights.

This project presents people as they present themselves. Each subject volunteered on the spot and posed how they wanted, with whomever they wanted. The spontaneity of the moment is captured, contrasting the formality of portraiture with the naturalness of everyday life in progress. I wanted to represent the variety and vibrancy of the residents of New York's most populous borough at the beginning of a new century.

Nora HertingNora Herting is a photographer. Her photographs have been exhibited in numerous Brooklyn galleries, including Like the Spice, Jack the Pelican Presents and Momenta Art, as well as nationally and internationally. She has completed residencies at the McColl Center for Visual Art, the Triangle Artists' Workshop and Anderson Ranch Arts Center. Her interactive, site-specific photo event, Free Sitting, could be found this year at SOHO20 Gallery, Like the Spice and Wassaic Arts Festival. She earned a MFA from Ohio State University.

To contact Nora Herting: |

BPL - Exhibition, Attitude, Walker Esner, Delilah, 2009
Delilah, 2009
©Walker Esner

BPL - Exhibition, Attitude, Michael Scott Berman, Burger Fry, Parade Grounds, 2001
Burger Fry, Parade Grounds, 2001
©Michael Scott Berman


BPL - Exhibition, Attitude, Joe Delano, Untitled, 2008
Untitled, 2008
©Joe Delano


BPL - Exhibition, Attitude, Walkner Esner, Elyse, 2009
Elyse, 2009
©Walker Esner


BPL - Exhibition, Attitude, Lauren Fleishman, Sol and Gloria Holtzman, 2008
Sol and Gloria Holtzman, 2008
©Lauren Fleishman


BPL - Exhibition, Attitude, Nora Herting, Face of Brooklyn, Grand Army, 2008-2011
Face of Brooklyn, Grand Army, 2008 - 2011