July 16, 2014

Wayne Lawrence

Orchard Beach: The Bronx Riviera

Although New York’s Bronx is considered one of the most diverse communities in America out of which many subcultures originated, such as Hip Hop and Salsa, it’s still viewed as a no man’s land by many of the city’s inhabitants. Perhaps it is a matter of simple geography that many refuse to venture to the northernmost of the city’s five boroughs or, quite possibly, it may be the Borough’s malevolent reputation lingering from its tumultuous past.

From its earliest years, the Bronx has been a hotbed of immigrant working class families, but its image has largely been defined by the urban blight of the late 1960’s through to the 1980’s when arson, drug addiction and social neglect decimated many of its neighborhoods. For the families who have called this scarred landscape home, Orchard Beach, the only beach in the borough, was and remains a treasured respite from the sweltering confines of the concrete jungle. Built in the 1930s by urban planner Robert Moses, the beach carries the stigma as being one of the worst in New York and is commonly known as Horseshit Beach or Chocha Beach.

I began shooting portraits of Orchard Beach’s summertime regulars in 2005 shortly after moving to New York, realizing that the stigma attached to this oasis was largely unjustified - I felt compelled to engage with this community of working class families and colorful characters. The photographs in ‘Orchard Beach – The Bronx Riviera’ celebrate the pride and dignity of the beach’s visitors, working-class people.

Immediately catching the viewer’s eye is the extravagant style of many of the photographs’ subjects – a quest for identity and sense of belonging. Some individuals carry scars and markings that hint to their own personal histories, which often reflect the complex history of the borough itself. Within the gaze of those portrayed we see a community standing in defiance of popular opinion.

The six years I spent photographing Orchard Beach have not only given me the time and space to reflect on the importance of family and community, but also a sense of belonging and purpose. After having experienced the most profound grief when my older brother was brutally murdered, photography has not only offered me an opportunity to give a voice to a community often misunderstood but also a means of healing from the loss experienced.

— Wayne Lawrence / INSTITUTE


June 29, 2014

What is Your Favorite Thing to Touch? written and illustrated by Myra Tomback Gibson (1965)

June 29, 2014

The Little Fireman - illustrated by Esphyr Slobodkina

The Little Fireman - written by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Esphyr Slobodkina (1975 edition).

June 27, 2014

Max Pam



June 20, 2014

1968: Radical Italian Furniture by DESTE Foundation and TOILETPAPER

What happens when famed art collector and Deste Foundation founder Dakis Joannou joins forces with what is arguably the most offbeat and mind-boggling publication out there? In an attempt to document his unparalleled collection of Radical Design furniture, Joannou commissioned artist/provocateur Maurizio Cattelan and photographer Pierpaolo Ferrari - the creative masterminds behind TOILETPAPER magazine - to create a book that proudly celebrates a period that marked a revolutionary shift in stylistic direction in Italian design.

Founded in the late 1960s by a progressive group of Italian designers, the Radical Design movement was firmly opposed to the ethics – and indeed the very notion of – ‘good design’ or taste. Stemming from a loathing of the sterile state that design had come to at the time due to the uninspiring prevailing trends of previous decades, groups like Archizoom and Superstudio challenged the perception of furniture design and the gravity applied to function as opposed to form, giving birth to remarkable objects of surprising proportions, playful shapes and bold colours. (by Demetrios Gkiouzelis)

12:47am  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Z8bgTy1JB7hgM
Filed under: design art book 
June 2, 2014

New York Bike Style

New York Bike Style, photographed by Sam Polcer and published by Prestel, is packed full of colorful photos of equally colorful New Yorkers with their bikes. What separates the work from countless other street-style projects is yes, the bikes, but also the fact that most everyone looks genuinely happy—Polcer even managed to get some guys from the Black Label Bike Club to look friendly and approachable.

1.  Quaddafi rides a custom single-speed tall bike photographed at Hudson St. and West 13th St., Manhattan, going to Pastis.

2. Brian (with Fritz and Gromit) rides a Bullitt 11-speed cargo bike from Copenhagen photographed on North 6th st. and Wythe Ave., Brooklyn, cruising around Williamsburg.

3. Tania and Andre riding a mutant tandem bike. Photographed at Charles Pl. and Myrtle Ave., Brooklyn, hanging out at the Black Label Bicycle Club BBQ at Coast Cycles.

4. Siobhan and Freya ride an Austro-Daimler Puch 10-speed bicycle photographed at Dean St. and Grand Ave., Brooklyn, en route to Prospect Park.

5. Roberto rides a 1952 Schwinn Black Phantom photographed at Harman St. and Irving Ave., Brooklyn, hanging out at the Puerto Rico Schwinn Club headquarters.

6. Sheryl rides a Brooklyn Cruiser 3-speed bicycle photographed on Jacob Riis Park Promenade, Queens, hanging out on the beach at Jacob Riis Park.

7. George rides a Brooklyn Bicylce Co. Driggs III 3-speed bike photographed at Crosby St. and Grand St., Manhattan, going to meet a client in SoHo.

8. Michael, Gabrielle, Tank & Larry ride borrowed bikes photographed on Williamsburg St. West, Brooklyn, en route to Prospect Park.

9. Sam rides a Giordano fixed gear bicycle photographed at Front St. and York St., Brooklyn, en route to Burger Smash for lunch.

10. Chandra rides a Surly Steamroller fixed gear bike photographed at Doyer St. and Pell St., Manhattan, going to buy thread at Oshman.

May 16, 2014

Alexandra Crockett

Metal Cats

Metal Cats Book

May 11, 2014

Siri Ahmed Backström



May 9, 2014

Luigi Serafini

Codex Seraphinianus

This book is further out than far out. It’s an illustrated encyclopedia of an imaginary world, created by the Italian artist, architect and industrial designer Luigi Serafini. It’s around 360 pages long (depending on edition) and written in a completely unintelligible alphabet. The book is comprised of copious hand-drawn colored-pencil illustrations, of bizarre and fantastical flora, fauna, anatomies, fashions, and foods. It’s a fervent, phantasmagorical, feast of fantasy. 

April 15, 2014

Mikkel Sommer

Men Ikke I Dag