Brooklyn in Transition: A Photographic Essay of the Gowanus by Jose Gaytan
Central Library, Grand Lobby
Photos of the Gowanus Canal and its surrounding neighborhoods, focusing on architecture, the shoreline, bridges, found objects and sunsets.
Through my photography, I have explored my fascination with New York's changing landscapes. Living in New York since 1979, I have devoted my personal work to documenting my neighborhoods, including Manhattan, Greenpoint, Williamsburg and Park Slope. I am especially intrigued by the East River shoreline, which I have spent many hours photographing, along with the bridges that link Manhattan with Brooklyn and Queens.
When I moved to Park Slope, I discovered the Gowanus. I was attracted to its tiny bridges and industrial landscape. I noticed that it was an area in transition. Over the past five years, the changes have been dramatic. Many older buildings were renovated; some were demolished to make room for new housing and commercial buildings. Some of these older buildings maintained the rich architectural details of early 20th century design. Although they are in terrible condition, I find beauty and inspiration in their architecture and design. Each time I visit the Gowanus, I am amazed by how quickly the landscape has changed. The images presented in this exhibition represent a small example of what is happening to the Gowanus.
The prints in this exhibition are digital ink jet prints, with the exception of the black and white panoramic gelatin silver prints. I wish to thank Legion Paper for their generous contribution of Moab paper. I'd also like to thank those who encouraged me with this project, especially Rudy and Lola Gaytan for their support and companionship. They spent many hours accompanying me on my daily visits to the Gowanus.
This body of work is a small representation of what I have captured over the past five years. This project is a work in progress. My goal is to present a retrospective of images that I have taken over the past 30 years, which I hope to exhibit at a later date.
Jose Gaytan is a photographer specializing in landscape and portraiture, and has worked as a freelance commercial photographer. He has exhibited his work at the International Center of Photography Faculty Show in New York, and has had images published in Panorama Photography by Joseph Meehan, as well as several magazines and newspapers. He was also awarded a grant by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers. He earned a MA in visual aesthetics from Washington State University and a BA in photojournalism from San Jose State University.
Gowanus Canal, 2008