(super)Heroes – A new FENCE project wrapping around the Manhattan Bridge Anchorage
Unveiling: Thursday August 9, 6pm
Location: Adams Street, Plymouth Street, and Anchorage Place – Manhattan Bridge Anchorage, DUMBO Brooklyn
Alex Gross | Cabinet Card Paintings
Astrid Verhoef | Clark Kent
David Graham | Superman
Dulce Pinzon | The Real Story of the Superheroes
Gregg Segal | Super Heroes at Home
Maleonn | Works
Nicolas Silberfaden | Impersonators
Susanne Middelberg | Wonderwoman
Walter Iraheta | Kryptonita
Part of the NYC DOT’s Urban Art Program in New York City, United Photo Industries’ Creative Director Sam Barzilay has curated a 340ft photographic fence installation printed by DUGGAL Visual Solutions, with additional support by Two Trees Management.
The seeds of the (super)heroes project were planted nearly 3 years ago, and it is only fitting that an exhibition contemplating the true image and meaning of heroism would be presented in such a larger-than-life, public setting under the Manhattan Bridge in DUMBO.
Starting with Nicolas Silberfaden’s portraits of Hollywood Boulevard’s Impersonators, weeping, vulnerable – human – in marked contrast to the mythical personae they have chosen to embody, we are introduced to a world where comic book rules no longer apply.
Maleonn transports us to mythical – yet eerily familiar – worlds populated by unlikely heroes and heroines persisting in their quest for greatness in the face of an unforgiving, humbling world – whereas Walter Iraheta uses the hero’s own likeness to subtly invert both the social and physical stereotype of the hero, raising questions of traditional gender roles, economic inequality, and the true nature of heroism.
Alex Gross’ cabinet card paintings follow a less orthodox vein of photography by manipulating the photographic surface of found photographs (dating back to the 19th century) to construct an alternative narrative and breathe new life to images whose original, “intended” use has long ago expired; Astrid Verhoef explores the transition from childhood to adulthood – mirroring the transition between the hero’s two-dimensional world of good vs evil, and the world inhabited by his alter ego, a world fraught with the potential for missteps and moral compromise – while Susanne Middleberg poses herself and her family in superhero vignettes, each one reflecting upon women’s shifting role in society, social expectations of femininity, beauty, and empowerment – while simultaneously serving as reflections of her own life path.
Gregg Segal explores the life of superhero impersonators beyond their public personae and documents the private moments of their performance-filled lives, Dulce Pinzon shines a light on the un-sung heroes of New York City – poor immigrants often working behind the scenes to keep the city ticking, while supporting their families and the communities they came from, and David Graham employs a candid, man-on-the-street approach, capturing snapshots of everyday people and their relationship to the “superman” emblem, questioning – or perhaps hoping – whether some element of the hero’s ethos is conferred upon the bearer by this act of association.