I’ve mentioned many times that I consider photography as art.   Like an artist I create with my hands and eyes, manipulating a camera and a computer to bring the image alive. I create the image twice: First in my head, as I scan the scenery or an object before me, creating a mental composition; Second, through the lens, focusing on the details and capturing light and color to make the image appear real or surreal.

With all that said above, I paid a visit to Socrates Sculpture Park, on Vernon Boulevard in Long Island City Queens, last Sunday afternoon, to practice what I preach. A frigid day for wandering around an outdoor exhibit but, when the sun is shining there’s no keeping me and my camera indoors. I hadn’t been to the park for a few years and was eager to take a look at the current exhibit from the Emerging Artist Fellowship Exhibition.

I got off the Q69 bus on the corner of Broadway and 21st Street, hung a right and walked up toward Vernon Boulevard photographing this edgy, commercial urban neighborhood. The primary colors seemed to be popping out everywhere; yellow blue, red. I was artistically smitten by a gritty old blue Mercedes that had its rusted parts sanded down for a much needed repair and paint, and the results created a smooth fluid abstract designs that even Salvador Dali would have appreciated 🙂

The park is a big open grassy space, once an old industrial landfill on the edge of the East River and, it takes only a minute for you to spot something out of the ordinary or what looks ordinary but isn’t, like a huge mound of dirt corralled in a rusted fence. There were winged feet in a frosted pond, a garden of disembodied heads, huge block letters, proclaiming “MORE LIGHT”, which wasn’t hard for me to relate to, a flat-bed truck that would begin to play The Doors “Riders on the Storm” when you got close to it. Over sized wire chairs and coffee cups, and a large yellow boulder like piece entitled “Swiss Cheese.”  I took my time admiring each of the sculptures as I contemplated how to best place them into my image compositions. Almost everything in and around that park is considered art even the desiccated and decaying bits of old dock and row boats lining the shores, where I spent a happy amount of time, and the bright welcoming orange steel gates of the park.

This park sits right along side a narrow sabulous strip of land known as Hallet’s Cove on Vernon Boulevard. At the far end there is a weather beaten red wooden warehouse with an aging yellow crane and can be quite picturesque if you have a good imagination, which I do.

Please click on this link Socrates Sculpture Park  to read the names of the very talented artists who created these amazing pieces of urban art for this exhibition.

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9 thoughts on “Art is How You See It

  1. I grew up in Ranpvenswood not far from there. Back then it was probably just a deserted patch of land. I bet you’d make even that beautiful through your lens! Thanks for sharing.

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  2. This could be a primer on photography as art, composition, balance and beauty!!! The images are creative and impactful, each in their own right!! The trees, reflections, fences, rust, shoreline and a teddy bear caught up on a branch suggest a master plan on how a photo collective can reveal not only the mind but the eye of a gifted photographer.

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  3. So many interesting photos here Cate. Looks like it was a great day out. I love all the images that include rust or some other form of decay. Your close up images are my favourites. For me the dilapidated Mercedes and winged feet rusty water shots were stars. ✨

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