Portfolio: Newburgh | Visual Art | Hudson Valley | Hudson Valley; Chronogram
Pin It
Favorite

Portfolio: Newburgh 

Portrait of a City

portfolio_new_sneakers_kasterine.jpg

portfolio_family_12_group_kasterine.jpg

Dmitri Kasterine is a really good listener. And he’s got a good eye too: Kasterine won’t fail to notice the discrete changes, moment to moment, in the way you want yourself to look to others. He’ll pay attention to the way your eye darts left when you’re uncomfortable; right when you’re taken with something he said about you, and then as you settle into some calm he’ll shoot your portrait.
portfolio_hello_kasterine.jpg

portfolio_hands_pants_kasterine.jpg

All that is plenty evident in the 43 large, vinyl portraits of Newburgh on display until November on the wall of the historic Ritz Theater off Liberty Street in downtown Newburgh. The work, exhibited in collaboration between the Ann Street Gallery in Newburgh and the community and arts advocacy organization Safe Harbors, is titled “Newburgh: Portrait of a City.” A companion volume of the same title is being published this month by The Quantuck Lane Press, the result of 16 years of documentation by Kasterine.
portfolio_man_scars_shoulder_kasterine.jpg

portfolio_girl_comb_kasterine.jpg

Newburgh, once deemed “America’s Most Beautiful City,” is now in the unraveled throes of the Post-Great Recession, its public services reduced from an already barebones level to something skeletal. A few years ago, it was one of the most dangerous cities in America, dubiously distinguished by having one of the highest per capita murder rates in the country. The outdoor work on display, the scheme and product of Kasterine’s work from 1995 to 2011 both speaks to these concerns and shirks them.
portfolio_teenager_child_kasterine.jpg

portfolio_summer_broadway_kasterine.jpg

Speak, say, to Rodney Hardison, a Cooper Union trained artist who now calls Newburgh home and works at the Wherehouse, a bar/restaurant across the street and in full view of Kasterine’s work. Hardison will tell you the work represents a people disenfranchised from representation itself; the work makes visible that which has been invisible for decades. The pictured residents of Newburgh have had no opportunity to represent themselves as a people who live daily outside the mainstream representation of poverty and violence. Today, Newburgh is slowly turning itself into what many hope will be a sustainable, locally managed and developed community. Hardison will tell you that Kasterine’s work offers that representation: a rebounding city peopled by hopeful folk united in their diverse stories. And Hardison will tell you the neighborhood now owns that work.
portfolio_fashion_statement_kasterine.jpg

portfolio_bodybuilder_girl_kasterine.jpg
br /> Still, the photographs are not a study guide to anything. They are narrowly focused particulars, pictures of proud, unbowed men and women, some couples, most alone, in the city. Some of the subjects are assertively beautiful: their dark skin bounces right off white highlights and grey architecture; Kasterine’s own view on beauty.
portfolio_shoe_print_youth_kasterine.jpg

portfolio_boy_headset_kasterine.jpg
Pin It
Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Hudson Valley Events

submit event
Katherine Bernhardt: Gold @ Art Omi

Katherine Bernhardt: Gold

March 23-May 19 — As an artist, Bernhardt has explored several different themes, including super models,...
Dan Devine: Impact @ Thompson Giroux Gallery

Dan Devine: Impact

Mondays, Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through May 5 — A solo exhibition....

View all of today's events

Chronogram on Instagram

Latest in Arts & Culture

  • Five Fantastic Hudson Valley Events for Your Calendar
  • Five Fantastic Hudson Valley Events for Your Calendar

    From world-class live music to a woodworker’s dream sale and Hudson’s hippest reading series, it’s all here, waiting for you.
    • Apr 17, 2019
  • AMR Spring Art Show at the Commons Building
  • AMR Spring Art Show at the Commons Building

    The Spring Show hosted by the AMR Artists, which opens on April 19 at Upstairs at the Commons gallery in Margaretville and remains on view through May 13, will include works by 20 participants working in different disciplines: painting, monotypes, photography, tapestry, installation, and even jewelry.
    • Apr 11, 2019
  • Turkuaz & Brass Against Play BSP Kingston on April 19
  • Turkuaz & Brass Against Play BSP Kingston on April 19

    Radio Woodstock and BSP Kingston have teamed up to bring something very funky to Uptown Kingston this Spring. On Friday, April 19, the nine-piece power-funk ensemble Turkuaz takes their rainbow-themed, dance-heavy show to BSP Kingston’s historic back room theater.
    • Apr 10, 2019
  • More »