INCIDENTALLY CONEY ISLAND

Coney Island is one of the most photographed areas of NYC. Second only to Times Square, according to the New York Times, it has inspired “not just chapters, but also whole picture books, like Peter Granser’s “Coney Island” (2006) and Harvey Stein’s “Coney Island” (1998).” But just when you had thought that there couldn’t possibly be anything more to be said—or photographed—regarding Coney Island, along comes Andy Levin.

Beginning in the late 1970s, Levin began exploring and photographing Coney Island. The result was “F Train to Coney Island”: an unpublished portfolio containing images that most visitors to that exotic getaway have seen only out of the corners of their eyes.

The photography is black-and-white in a fantasy land where color is predominant by nature and, as a result, entrancing; this “counterintuitive” approach makes his images even more striking.

“Maybe color was too literal for what I was trying to do,” Mr. Levin said in a telephone interview [with the Times] last week. “I was looking for symbolic pictures, and color makes it more realistic.”

“I tried to stay away from the freak show thing,” Mr. Levin recalled. “Not that I didn’t appreciate what was going on with it. It just wasn’t my intent. I wanted to convey the commonality of the family experience. That’s sort of how I grew up. I think I was naturally more responsive to those elements.”

NY Times (including photo gallery…a must-see!!!)

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