Arlene Gottfried – These days – Cologne
On September 4 th the Hardhitta Gallery will open the first solo exhibition featuring American photographer Arlene Gottfried (*1960) in Germany since 1982. The show will present 23 cibachrome and gelatin silver prints taken throughout the city of New York and its boroughs between 1970 and 2012. Born in Brooklyn, Gottfried took her first photographs in 1969 at the legendary Woodstock Festival; capturing unusual and striking moments would become her trademark. Always drawn to the diverse communities she knew while growing up, Gottfried went on to document the vast diversity of New York City. Beginning with Coney Island and Crown Heights, she expanded her radius to the Lower East Side, Spanish Harlem, and then to other regions of the United States. Arlene Gottfried depicts her fellow New Yorkers with intimacy and valiance, revealing fascinating portraits of people who seem to operate outside of conventional rules and assumptions. For one photograph, a nude bodybuilder posed next to a Hasidic man and proudly announced, “Take my picture with him; I am Jewish too.” Elsewhere a man was sunbathing on a lounge chair in the middle of the West Side Highway, or a boy grinning in the freezer of a butcher’s shop in Boston. Through her special blend of the personal with the peculiar, the photographer forges a profound connection with her subjects, and draws viewers into remarkable and surprising situations. Gottfried’s photographic journal, taken over the course of four decades, is a multifaceted homage to her native New York City, its inhabitants, and the New York “state of mind” – soulful and emotionally charged, wild and crazy, nostalgic and touching. Arlene Gottfried lives and works in New York.