Art imitating life, imitating art? At least it was at Photoville, a pop-up photo destination where photographers flocked in droves to snap pictures of the photo galleries bedecking the freight containers-cum-makeshift-exhibition spaces.
The event, now in its second year, is open to the public, but the majority of the attendees on opening night were either photographers or other denizens of the media industry. Running from Sep. 19 through Sep. 29, Photoville has set up shop on the uplands of Pier 5 in Brooklyn Bridge Park and features exhibitions, lectures, hands-on workshops, nighttime projections, and a delectable beer-and-food garden.
Helmed by Kings County exhibition producer United Photo Industries, and situated in Brooklyn’s trendy DUMBO neighborhood (just past the hipster-chic Brooklyn Promenade), the 60,000 square foot showcase features installations spanning different topics and styles of photos, from the 3D Hi-8mm mural of Manezh Square to the portable tintype portrait booth sponsored by the Penumbra Foundation.
The portable tintype booth drew droves of people seeking to experience the magic of the 19th century photographic process which employs period authentic methods, materials and equipment. The 15-minute portrait session was prepared, exposed and developed on site before being varnished and sold for 40 percent off of normal studio price. Eric Taubman and Geoffrey Berliner of the Penumbra Foundation prepared the one-of-a-kind portraits for free for anyone with press credentials.
The public mingled among scores of photography enthusiasts who flocked to the event, including Steven Rosen, a photographer who allowed me to take his picture and then asked to take mine in return.
“I really enjoyed Photoville,” said Betty Tsang, an NYU student. “It was a new and creative way to make photography and art more accessible to the public.”
“It was an amazing event and it was really wonderful to have a place where you could experience different artists all in one venue,” said Roger Smith, who manned the bar at the event’s beer garden. “Not to mention the setting by the water made it great as well.”
The event ran from 4 p.m. until 10 p.m. on its opening night and featured a DJ Party in the beer garden where wares from Mexico Blvd, Palenque, Morris Grilled Cheese, and Mike N Willies were offered. Talks & Panels and Workshops will be offered later on during Photoville’s two weekend run.
“I liked that the type and scope of exhibitions ranged from the well-known journalist Ann Curry covering world news to local photographers covering Hurricane Sandy,” said Tsang, who was photographed while perusing TIME LightBox’s “Disco Night Sept 11” exhibition. “The exhibition design was great [ranging from] simple pin-ups to elaborate light boxes and even interactive photographs using an iPad and a photography app.”
The weather on Thursday was perfect for the outdoor event, where Brooklyn’s art crowd dressed to impress (and to be photographed) while drifting from installation to installation before coming together in the beer garden and taking seats in plastic folding chairs by the stage where they were serenaded by the dulcet tones of Oasis. The perfect hipster ending to the perfect hipster night.
Correction: A previous version of this story misnamed the 3D Hi-8mm mural of Manezh Square.