Photographer Captures Brooklyn’s Shockingly Rapid Gentrification
Purtell’s sober, yet compositionally and texturally rich photos are presented “in memoriam.” Dated between 2008 and 2014, many highlight iconic spaces that were, until just recently, recognizable parts of the daily lives of New Yorkers—an antique building that stood on the site now occupied by Brooklyn’s newest Whole Foods; the formerly collapsed and now active ferry terminal in Greenpoint; an old Bushwick warehouse that is now a satellite location of Chelsea gallery Luhring Augustine; the freshly removed “Kentile Floors” sign that greeted F- and G-train commuters as they trekked over the Gowanus Canal. Each space contains traces of the people who have molded them, but who are, in most of these images, hauntingly absent. It’s an apt metaphor for those displaced by the influx of money in these neighborhoods.
The “Real” series owes much to the work of history’s greatest documentary and spatial photographers, including
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