INSTITUTE artist Wayne Lawrence will be in conversation with independent curator Elisabeth Biondi, discussing Lawrence’s new book, ‘Orchard Beach: The Bronx Riviera’.
‘Orchard Beach: The Bronx Riviera’ is a collection of engaging and beautiful portraits by Wayne Lawrence, celebrating the diversity and community of one of New York’s most popular beaches – the Bronx’ ‘Orchard Beach’. Orchard Beach might not be the most elegant place to sunbathe, but if you live in the Bronx, it’s the closest place to swim, relax on the sand, and escape the city’s oppressive summer heat. Drawn to the public beach for its less-than glamorous reputation, photographer Wayne Lawrence felt a connection to the community as soon as he began snapping pictures. His glamorous portraits of proud men and women, loving couples, and families at play challenge stereotypes associated with working-class people by focusing on universal themes such as the ties that bind and cultural pride. Whether Anglo, African American, or Latino; statuesque or stout; young or old, each individual is treated with dignity and sensitivity. Lawrence’s subjects are a community standing in defiance of popular opinion, proud to call Orchard Beach their own.
Wayne Lawrence (b.1974) is a St. Kitts-born, Brooklyn-based visual artist whose work, rooted in the documentary tradition, seeks to illuminate the complexities of human experience, navigating ideas of community, purpose, and humanity’s relationship to our natural and adopted environments.
Wayne’s photographs have been exhibited at the Bronx Museum of Art, the FLAG Art Foundation, Amerika Haus (Munich), the Open Society Institute, and the African American Museum of Philadelphia, among other galleries.
His work has appeared on the covers of National Geographic and TIME and has been published by National Geographic magazine, The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, New York Magazine, AARP, TIME, Rolling Stone, Variety, Men’s Journal, Mother Jones, Mare, COLORS, and Newsweek.
His first monograph, Orchard Beach: The Bronx Riviera, was released by Prestel Publishing in October 2013, with accompanying exhibitions at the Bronx Museum of Art, and the FLAG Art Foundation.
Wayne is currently at work on his second book, Black Blood, an exploration of J’ouvert Carnival traditions in the eastern Caribbean.rt & Art history.
Elisabeth Biondi is an independent curator, a venture she embarked on having left The New Yorker in 2011, after fifteen years as the magazine’s visuals editor. So far she has curated Subjective/Objective, and Under the Bridge, for the NY PhotoFestival, and New Yorker Fiction/Real Photography, at the Steven Kasher Gallery in Chelsea. In the fall of 2011, her exhibition Beyond Words: Photography in The New Yorker, was the season’s opening show at the Howard Greenberg Gallery.