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Opening Reception, Bowery Street: An Exhibition of Photographs by Larry Racioppo

Coney Island USA Events

Opening Reception, Bowery Street: An Exhibition of Photographs by Larry Racioppo

Saturday, September 25, 2021 - 3pm-7pm

1208 Surf Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11224

All attendees must be masked and present proof of COVID-19 Vaccination.

September 25th to October 17th, 2021

Opening Reception Saturday, September, 25th, 3 to 7 PM

The color and B/W photographs, exhibited here for the first time, are part of Larry Racioppo’s extended project examining the old, undeveloped sections of Coney Island’s amusement area, which stretches from W 15th Street to W10th Street, and extends from Surf Avenue to Bowery Street to the Riegelmann Boardwalk.

Coney Island’s historic rise, fall, and rise again are told within these blocks, from the demolition of the original Thunderbolt rollercoaster and its replacement by the Zamperla Corporation’s modern version, to the still active original Cyclone rollercoaster on W10th Street.

Just three blocks long, Bowery Street is the home of the remaining small, often family owned, booths and concessions offering games of chance and skill — games with regulation size basketballs and narrow rims; games with water pistols and darts; rings to toss and bb’s for shooting zombies. Larry employed both large format and panoramic equipment to photograph the intensely decorated game booths and rides. Using medium format or digital cameras, he also created portraits of the men and women who own these small businesses, the mostly seasonal workers who operate the games, and the visitors who flock to play them.

Larry Racioppo was born and raised in South Brooklyn, and he has been photographing throughout New York City since 1971. A former VISTA volunteer and participant in the CETA Artists Project of New York City’s Cultural Council Foundation, Larry had his first solo exhibition in 1977 at Brooklyn’s f stop Gallery. In 1980 Scribners published his first book of photographs, Halloween.

From 1989 until 2011, Larry was the official photographer for the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, hired to document the city’s rebuilding of distressed neighborhoods, from Bed- ford-Stuyvesant to Harlem to the South Bronx. After receiving a Guggenheim Fellowship in photography in 1997, Racioppo took a leave from the HPD to work on a series of personal projects, including Forgotten Gateway: The Abandoned Buildings of Ellis Island, a traveling exhibition of his photographs that originated at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC.

Larry Racioppo is one of 500 New York City-based artists to receive $5,000 through the City Artist Corps Grants program, presented by The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA), with support from the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) as well as Queens Theatre.

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