I have lived in Dumbo for the past 6 years, and it is only until very recently that I don't get a confused look from New Yorkers when I told them where I live. DUMBO (Wikipedia), an acronym for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, is a neighborhood in the New York City, New York borough of Brooklyn. It encompasses two sections; one located between the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges, which connect Brooklyn to Manhattan across the East River, and another which continues east from the Manhattan Bridge to the Vinegar Hill area.
Until the 1890s, it was primarily a manufacturing district, housing warehouses and factories that made machinery, paper boxes and Brillo soap pads. With deindustrialization it began becoming primarily residential, when artists and other young homesteaders seeking relatively large and inexpensive loft apartment spaces for studios and homes began moving there in the late 1970s.
When the luxury condos started to go up due to the outrageous rent in Manhattan, the neighborhood in Dumbo became a really fun place to live in. When I go out for dinner, usually sitting at the bar at Superfine, next to me are people who belong to either one of these categories: artists, construction workers or the filthy rich. The clash of profession and social status makes for *really* interesting conversations, and this is also perhaps why the art coming from this neighborhood has a unique personality of its own.
Every year, Dumbo Arts Center organizes a three-day multi-site neighborhood-wide event called the Art Under the Bridge Festival. This is an event where artists open their studios so you can look at their work and chat with the them in a fun and casual setting. This year I went with Mac Farr (MMF) and found many inspirational work.
I took so many photos and videos during the festival that it took me 2 full weeks to process them. They are finally all done. All 109 photos and 12 videos in their own Flickr set.
Because of the amount of content, I will break the artist interviews into their own posts, but here are some highlights as well as non-artist specific shots during the day:
1. Mixed media painting ContinentalDivide lr by James Cospito (BAP / Facebook / Flickr / LinkedIn / SML Flickr / Twitter), founder of the Brooklyn Art Project (SML Pro Blog). 3,500. Available for purchase at artist's website. Photographed at the BAP HQ in Dumbo. Check out his portfolio at http://www.brooklynartproject.com/profile/jcospito
8. Painting: River City Random Street Fight by Adam Shub (Facebook / SML Flickr). Adam is currently working on a series of paintings on arcade video games. You can check out his portfolio at http://www.artbreak.com/Squarepainter
12. Collaborative Installation: I left this here for you to read by Tim Devin (SML Flickr).
13. Full-block long graffiti in Dumbo. Since it's graffiti, the artist is unknown. But if you know who did this, let me know so I can give them proper credits!!! Panoramic photography stitched together using three RAW files.
15. Unitled Forms. Yet another 'mystery' find at the Rabbit Hole Studio where I cannot tell if it is part of the show or not. But it's interesting to me. Filed under my Forms series.
16. The always cheery Mac Farr (Facebook / Flickr / SML Flickr) aka MMF in the SML Universe is the best guy to go art-hunting with. MMF also participated in many artist interviews, which was great because the ADHD-afflicted SML speech is barely comprehensible in many instances!
17. Interestingly there were many weddings taken place on the same day during the festival.
18. The bride and groom was so excited when they saw me snapping them. But I know that with the reflection on the window it is simply impossible to get a good shot. That said, the reflection of the bridge and pedestrians on the road create a really interesting shot so I photographed it anyway. I call this a one-frame collage!
19. Walking around we found a sculpture made with cardboards and other paper waste materials. Particularly interesting is their forms which resemble tree logs, the same materials which create them to begin of. It's an interesting before/after dialog within itself about paper, trees and the effect of modern industry with regard to the environment.
20. How fitting it is to find the perfect frame of lines under the Brooklyn Bridge at a festival called Art Under the Bridge!
And that sums up my experience with the festival. I had a great time! As stated above, interviews with the artists will be posted in their own blog posts as otherwise this blog post, which is already *very* long would be unbearably long to read!
13th Annual DUMBO Art Under the Bridge Festival NYC 2009
+ 01: Overview
+ 02: Ruza Bagaric
+ 03: Brooklyn Art Project
+ 04: James Cospito
+ 05: J. F. Bautista
+ 06: Ellen Driscoll
+ 07: Fernando Souto
+ 08: Agata Olek
+ 09: Dean Russo
+ 10: Choichun Leung
Related SML Universe
+ SML Fine Art (Flickr Group)
+ SML Flickr Collections: Art + Artists
+ SML Flickr Collections: SML Journalism
+ SML Flickr Sets: Art
+ SML Flickr Sets: Date: 2009
+ SML Flickr Sets: Dumbo Arts Center: Art Under the Bridge Festival 2009
+ SML Flickr Tags: Art
+ SML Pro Blog: Art