September 5 – October 30, 2022
Artist Talk & Book Signing - Friday September 9, 6 to 8pm
Artist Reception - Saturday September 10, 4 to 6pm
In Then and There, I document a crucial aspect of public street behavior at the 1979 New Orleans Mardi Gras. Shooting with an instant SX-70 Polaroid camera, the process allowed me to directly interact with my subjects who perform, observe, and even share in the photographic process. The portraits are made just feet away from each person, mostly at dusk, and who are sharply revealed by the light of the camera’s flash bar. The subjects creatively present themselves in diverse colorful masks, makeup, and revelry. Each portrait is a glimpse into a layered and hidden personal identity made possible by the collaborative choices of the photographer and the subject acting in front of the camera. The raw excitement of Mardi Gras flows through each portrait with the people physically filling the entire frame of the Polaroid as if the print itself were a stage just for them. Mardi Gras allows both the subject and myself a moment of freedom to observe a transformation into another reality of being. As I see it, the major themes of the work, whether subtle or overt, are: mask, Carnaval, past time, memory, identity, creativity, fun and abandon, reverie, costume, altered realities and transformation.
Harvey Stein is a professional photographer, teacher, lecturer, author, and curator based in New York City.
He currently teaches at the International Center of Photography and the Los Angeles Center of Photography. Stein is a frequent lecturer on photography both in the United States and abroad. He was the Director of Photography at Umbrella Arts Gallery, located in the East Village of Manhattan, from 2009 until 2019 when it lost its lease and closed. He has also been a member of the faculty of the School of Visual Arts, New School University, Drew University, Rochester Institute of Technology and the University of Bridgeport. A recipient of a Creative Arts Public Service (CAPS) fellowship and numerous artist in residency grants, Stein’s ninth and latest book Then and There: Mardi Gras 1979 was published by Zatara Press in October of 2020. Other books of Stein’s photographs are Parallels: A Look at Twins, E.P. Dutton (1978); Artists Observed, Harry Abrams, Inc. (1986); Coney Island, W.W. Norton, Inc. (1998); Movimento: Glimpses of Italian Street Life, Gangemi Editore, Rome (2006); Coney Island 40 Years, Schiffer Publishing, (2011); Harlem Street Portraits, Schiffer Publishing (2013); Briefly Seen New York Street Life, Schiffer Publishing (2015), and Mexico Between Life and Death, Kehrer Verlag (Germany, 2018). Stein’s photographs and portfolios have been published in such periodicals as The New Yorker, Time, Life, Esquire, American Heritage, Smithsonian, The New York Times, Reader’s Digest, Glamour, GQ Magazine (Mexico), Forbes, Psychology Today, Playboy, Harpers, Connoisseur, Art News, American Artist, New York, People, Der Spiegel, Die Zeit, The Hopkins Review (cover), Sun Magazine (cover)and all the major photo magazines, including Camera Arts, Black & White Magazine (cover), Shutterbug, Popular Photography, American Photo, Camera, Afterimage, PDN, Zoom, Rangefinder, Photo Metro, fotoMagazine (Germany), photo technique, Zeke and View Camera Magazine.
Stein’s photographs have been widely exhibited in the United States and Europe — 89 one-person and over 166 group shows to date.
He has curated 67 exhibits since 2007. His photographs are in 59 permanent collections, including the George Eastman Museum, Bibliotheque Nationale, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the New Orleans Museum of Art, the International Center of Photography, the Denver Museum of Art, the Carnegie Museum of Art (Pittsburgh), the Portland (Oregon) Museum of Art, the Museum of the City of New York, Museet for Fotokunst (Odense, Denmark), Musee De La Photographie (Charleroi, Belguim), the Portland (Maine) Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the Addison Gallery of American Art, The New York Historical Society and Museum, The Brooklyn Historical Society, and among others, the corporate collections of Johnson & Johnson, Hewlett Packard, LaSalle Bank (Chicago), Barclay Bank and Credit Suisse. Stein’s work is represented by Sous Les Etoiles Gallery, New York City.