© Bradford Robotham, Stillwell & Surf, Coney Island series 2008
© Bradford Robotham, Luna, Luna, Luna, Luna, Coney Island series 2013
© Bradford Robotham, Beach, Coney Island series 2009

Bradford Robotham: Coney Island

June 10 – September 13, 2013
Harlem Library/NYPL
9 West 124th Street
New York, NY 10027

My parents took my sister and me to Coney Island frequently when we were children. They didn’t care for noise, or crowds, so we would set our blankets down on the far end of the beach where it was tranquil and desolate. To my left, I could see the clusters of people and always wondered what was going on over there. I remember thinking their colorful swimsuits and beach blankets looked like vibrant stars glimmering on the sand. On one particular afternoon, my father decided to take me on a long walk down the beach to Astroland. My excitement magnified with each step as we walked closer to the revelry. I was instantly roused by the sight of various bodies and the diverse landscape of people. There were couples frolicking, teenagers posturing, children playing and young mixed with old. My mind was overwhelmed by the energy and intense visual imagery. The raucous scene remained seared into my mind for years to come.

I’ve been photographing the Coney Island area regularly since 1998. The photographs in this series represent a selection of images the summer days and vacant off-season periods. While the images are taken at different times, elements within the composition unify them to form a seamless fabric joining time and space. It brings past, present, human presence and absence into the same plane and in a state of perpetual motion.

Special thanks to Harlem Library NYPL for hosting this exhibition.

Read more about Bradford HERE.