On view January 11 – March 2, 2019
Curated by Kenneth Baker
Curated by world-renowned art critic Kenneth Baker, this first solo exhibition of award-winning photographer and Westport native Spencer Platt, presents the photojournalist’s work in a fine art space and context, allowing the viewer to question meaning, place and situation.
News photos fulfill their purposes, frequently beyond the camera worker’s intentions or expectations, serving some editorial agenda to inform or illustrate, provoke response, or embed events in civic memory. Yet the photographic acts — reflexes responding to immediate circumstances, perhaps steered by an assignment — also have their own particular content and personal register. This selection of Platt’s work cross-sections all these dimensions.
Platt’s journalistic bulls’ eyes are “warning shots” — warning us of events’ far-reaching reverberations and the difficulty of descrying them — but so do his more contemplative images warn us of missing by inattention fleeting beauties of reality at its least imposing.
Memorial Day Parade, Naugatuck
May 28, 2018
Military veterans march through the streets in the annual Memorial Day Parade on May 28, 2018 in Naugatuck, Connecticut. Across America, towns and cities will be remembering those who lost their lives while serving in the United States Armed Forces.
Queens, New York
A woman in a burka walks along the streets of Queens, New York. It is a favorite place of mine to shoot the street. The light and faces from around the world work in a kind of unison. On winter days I will drive my motorcycle to one of the many neighborhoods and walk the streets. I will climb subway stairs, look for reflections, or just wait in a café drinking coffee until something happens.
Shelter at Alico
Fort Myers, Florida
September 9, 2017
A woman arrives at a shelter at Alico Arena where thousands of Floridians are hoping to ride out Hurricane Irma on September 9, 2017 in Fort Myers, Florida.
Moscow Bus Stop
March 6, 2017
A couple stay dry at a Moscow bus stop on a frigid and wet evening on March 6, 2017 in Moscow, Russia. Relations between the United States and Russia are at their lowest point in years as evi- dence mounts about the complex relationship between President Donald Trump’s administration and the Russian government. I am in Russia to explore the state of the people following Trump’s election. I spend a week wondering the streets of Moscow, lost and shooting pictures.
Flea Market Lenin
March 5, 2017
A painting of Vladimir Lenin, the founder of the Russian Communist Party and the leader of the Bolshevik Revolution, stands for sale at an outdoor flea market on the outskirts of Moscow on March 5, 2017 in Moscow, Russia. Relations between the United States and Russia are at their lowest point in years as evidence mounts about the complex relationship between President Don- ald Trump’s administration and the Russian government.
April 21, 2018
Members of the National Socialist Movement, one of the larg-est neo-Nazi groups in the US, hold a swastika burning after a rally on April 21, 2018 in Draketown, Georgia. Community mem-bers had opposed the rally in Newnan and came out to embrace racial unity in the small Georgia town. Fearing a repeat of the violence that broke out after Charlottesville, hundreds of police officers were stationed in the town during the rally in an attempt to keep the anti racist protesters and neo-Nazi groups separated.
At the Fence,
Gaza City, Gaza
May 11, 2018
A Palestinian man throws a rock towards the border fence with Israel as mass demonstrations at the fence continue on May 11, 2018 in Gaza City, Gaza. One man was killed while dozens, some critically, were wounded in the protests that are part of weekly Friday demonstrations along Gaza’s border with Israel. For the 1.9 million Palestinians living inside the Gaza Strip life has become a daily struggle for food, electricity and money after 10 years of an Israeli blockade on the area. The protests have so far left 40 Palestinian dead and over 1,700 wounded by Israeli army fire. Gaza’s Hamas rulers have vowed that the marches will continue until the decade-old Israeli blockade of the territory is lifted. On May 15 the protests will culminate to mark the ‘nakba’, or catastrophe, to commemorate the anniversary of their mass uprooting during the 1948 war over Israel’s creation.
April 15, 2003
An unconscious woman lies in a courtyard April 15, 2003 at a psychiatric hospital in Baghdad, Iraq. While most hospitals in Iraq are suffering, the psychiatric wards and hospitals have, for the most part, been completely forgotten.
August 17, 2005
A teenager throws a bicycle into a trash fire burning in front of a settlers home August 17, 2005 in the Israeli settlement of Neve Dekalim in the Gush Katif block of Settlements in Gaza, Israel. Wednesday is the first day of the forced evacuation of the Gaza settlements.
July 20, 2012
A girl sits on a bed as her home and neighborhood are forcefully dismantled in a shanty town after the government claimed that the settlement was illegal on July 20, 2012 in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Land disputes are becoming increasingly frequent in Honduras which is alarming the nation’s business class while sowing fears of increased political violence. In a nation where 72% of the poorest landowners hold only 11.6% of cultivated land, tensions are rising as the poor have few places to go and little opportunities for productive employment. Honduras now has the highest per capita murder rate in the world and its capital city, Tegucigalpa, is plagued by violence, poverty, homelessness and sexual assaults. With an estimated 80% of the cocaine entering the United States now being trans-shipped through Honduras, the violence on the streets is a spillover from the ramped rise in narco-trafficking.
In the Back
March 31, 2003
A family tries to leave the besieged Iraqi city of Basra March 31, 2003 in the back of a truck near a British manned bridge that has become a demarcation line. Basra, Iraqis second largest city, has been declared a military target as Saddam Hussein loyalist’s have taken-up positions in the city, stalling any coalition entry.
Through Rafah, 958033342
May 13, 2018
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Image depicts death.)
The body of Jamal Affana (15) is brought through a Rafa, Gaza alleyway after he succumbed to a gunshot wound sustained during protests last Friday at the Gaza border fence with Israel on May 13, 2018 in Rafah, Gaza. Affana was killed Friday by an Israeli sniper while participating in the demonstrations. For the 1.9 million Palestinians living inside the Gaza Strip life has become a daily struggle for food, electricity and money after 10 years of an Israeli blockade on the area. The protests have so far left 40 Palestinian dead and over 1,700 wounded by Israeli army fire. Gaza’s Hamas rulers have vowed that the marches will continue until the decade-old Israeli blockade of the territory is lifted. On May 15 the protests will culminate to mark the ‘nakba’ or catastrophe, to commemorate the anniversary of their mass uprooting during the 1948 war over Israel’s creation.
A Woman Documents
Gaza City, Gaza
May 14, 2018
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Alternate crop.)
A Palestinian woman documents the situation at the border fence with Israel as mass demonstra tions continue on May 14, 2018 in Gaza City, Gaza. Israeli soldiers killed at least 41 Palestinians and wounded over a thousand as the demonstrations coincided with the controversial opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. This marks the deadliest day of violence in Gaza since 2014. Gaza’s Hamas rulers have vowed that the marches will continue until the decade-old Israeli blockade of the territory is lifted.
August 15, 2006
Affluent Lebanese drive down the street to look at a destroyed neighborhood August 15, 2006 in southern Beirut, Lebanon. As the United Nations brokered cease fire between Israel and Hezbollah enters its first day, thousands of Lebanese re-turned to their homes and villages. This picture won World Press Photo of the Year for 2006.
New York, New York
A window of a boutique next to Trump Tower is cleaned in the early morning along 5th Avenue. I am waiting to enter Trump Tower for a news conference. It reminds me of the late 1920’s, a time of ostentatious wealth before everything fell down.
New York, New York
I stumbled upon this woman sitting in a New York City park. She was passed out, asleep. I had been sitting with a friend drinking a beer out of a paper bag when I turned and saw her. I always have my camera, always.
A man walks by a Moto Guzzi dealership in Milan Italy, one of my favorite cities to photograph the street.
Brooklyn, New York
People swim on a hot days at Coney Island. On slow days I drive my motorcycle down to Coney Island, 20 minutes from my home. I will wander the boardwalk looking for moments to photograph. When it’s slow or I get hot I will wander down to a Russian bar along the boardwalk where you can have a cheap Baltika beer while standing at a wooden table with the regulars.
Massabiou, Central African Republic
December 10, 2007
A woman sits with her child December 10, 2007 in the town of Massabiou, in the Central African Republic. Massabiou, a village close to the Chadian border, was attacked by Junjaweed from Sudan in April resulting in the killing of 36 residents with thousands fleeing. The residents that have returned to the village are now destitute with little food or shelter. Central African Republic (CAR) is one of the world’s poorest and most neglected countries with an average life expectancy of 39 years. Years of fighting various rebel factions in the north of the country have resulted in hundreds of deaths and over 200,000 internally displaced people. Outside of the capital Bangui there is no electricity or paved roads and banditry is extensive.
Bathers at Dusk
Juchitan de Zaragoza, Mexico
October 31, 2018
Members of the Central American caravan bathe at dusk in a camp on October 31, 2018 in Juchitan, de Zaragoza, Mexico. The group of migrants, many of them fleeing violence in their home countries, took a rest day on Wednesday and plan to resume their march towards the Unit- ed States border on Thursday. As fatigue from the heat distance and poor sanitary conditions has set in, the numbers of people participating in the march has slowly dwindled but a significant group are still determined to get to the United States.
November 04, 2018
A migrants hands stick out of a truck as hundreds of members of the Central American migrant caravan move in the early hours towards their next destination on November 04, 2018 in Isla, Mexico. The group of migrants, many of them fleeing violence in their home countries, last took a rest day on Wednesday and have resumed their march towards the United States border. As fatigue from the heat distance and poor sanitary conditions has set in, the numbers of people participating in the march has slowly dwindled but a significant group are still determined to get to the United Sates. The United Sates will deploy over 5,000 active-duty troops to the U.S.-Mexico border in an effort to prevent members of the migrant caravan from illegally entering the country.
October 22, 2015
Afghan men argue outside of the main gate as violence escalates for migrants waiting to be processed at the increasingly overwhelmed Moria camp on the island of Lesbos on October 22, 2015 in Mytilene, Greece. Dozens of rafts and boats are still making the journey daily as thousands flee conflict in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and other countries. More than 500,000 migrants have entered Europe so far this year. Of that number four-fifths of have paid to be smuggled by sea to Greece from Turkey, the main transit route into the EU. Nearly all of those entering Greece on a boat from Turkey are from the war zones of Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan
Queens, New York
November 16, 2012
A surfer heads out into the water in the heavily damaged Rockaway neighborhood where a large section of the iconic boardwalk was washed away on November 16, 2012 in the Queens borough of New York City. Two weeks after Superstorm Sandy slammed into parts of New York and New Jersey, thousands are still without power and heat.
New York, New York
January 22, 2008
A man walks down Wall Street January 22, 2008 in New York City. This was during the start of what is now called the Great Recession, when numerous banks and investment companies collapsed, the Dow plunged and the mood in the financial sector was dark. I would spend my days walking along Wall Street, the old buildings, shards of light and agitated businessmen were perfect for visual conveying the state of the country.
There is a truck stop in the Everglades that I love. It’s run by a Native American tribe and has the feel and look of the 1970’s. Every time I stop there I am overcome with memories of hot childhood road trips, days before mobile phones when you were forced to speak and to look. The large black birds are everywhere and their constant “caw’ is haunting. I took this picture while filing the car for gas.
New York, New York
September 11, 2001
The second plane hits the South tower of the World Trade Center. I am a young photojournalist at the time living in Brooklyn, I feel I am missing the big stories around the world. My company, Getty Images, is still new and has yet to have a ‘big” picture. This image changed my life and announced Getty Images news to the world at large. I still have trouble looking at the image, memories of the day are powerful as are the events that were to follow. For me it was my first real day as a photo- journalist, as a person both informing the public and as a witness to the life changing events of our age.