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Canal Prints: Reception Sat. Oct 20, 3-5p

 Canal Prints, 6x8”, Dynamic Cyanotype Prints, $30 each

Canal Prints, 6x8”, Dynamic Cyanotype Prints, $30 each

 The process of making Canal Prints

The process of making Canal Prints

Though I make work about Rockaway, I’m actually a Gowanus, Brooklyn based artist. Each October, Arts Gowanus puts on Gowanus Open Studios, a beautiful and diverse festival of arts that happens across about 20 blocks of Gowanus. This year, I’m proud to be managing a show at Gowanus Dredgers, featuring artists such as myself, who are based in Gowanus yet for various reasons don’t have a studio to open there.

My work is very much a response to environments: the spirit of the environment, but also the culture and community there. Looking at my work, I decided I wanted to show sometime site-specific, but also make it accessible to the community in a way that my giant, $8k prints of Rockaway have not been.

It was a sunny day, and I realized I had a huge stack of cyanotype-coated paper stashed away, so off I went to collaborate with the canal and create a site-specific response.

Working at the canal’s edge, I was moved by both the water and the rocks beside it. Cyanotype is a light-sensitive material that, when exposed to the sun and then washed with water, will turn blue where it was exposed to the sun; the remainder washing off.

The resulting works are both a record of the rocks at the shore, and the water’s ebb and flow as I dangled the works in the canal to be washed. Hung together, they form a sort of rhythm that mirrors the activity of the canal itself: overall quiet, but in that subtlety there is some gentle agitation as forces yonder – boats, cleanup efforts, even wildlife! – impact the quietude of the water’s surface.

The resulting, dynamic cyanotype prints are unique 6”x8” prints that I’ve made available to the community for $30 each.

The show, showcase / gowanus, also features works by Chris Baily, Richard Eagan, Elise DeGarmo, Manju Shandler, and Clayton Price.

Come have a look this weekend, during Gowanus Open Studios

Saturday & Sunday, Oct 20-21; 1p-6p

Reception with drinks and treats, Saturday, Oct 20 3-5pm

Gowanus Dredgers Boathouse

125-153 2nd St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

"Lightning Whelk", 7/14 - 8/5 in Rockaway; 15% of online print proceeds benefit Rockaway Waterfront Alliance

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I'm pleased to announce I'll be participating in Lightning Whelk, a show curated by Yulia Topchiy and Tess Thackara. a group exhibition that draws inspiration from the lightning whelk mollusk, a sea-dwelling snail that lays strings of egg capsules which sometimes wash ashore and dry out, their leathery remains – called Mermaid’s Necklaces – mingling with harmful waste plastics that surface on the beach. This exhibition is envisioned as a second iteration of an earlier exhibition, Future Fossils which explored environmental ideas of decay, renewal, and the afterlives of materials. In Lightning Whelk, the artists engage with the sea or the surrounding environment, in some cases sourcing materials from the historical landfill at nearby Dead Horse Bay.

Participating artists: Beatrice Adler-Bolton, Mandy Baker, Michael Crowe, Shauna Cummins & Dominika Ksel, Judy Hoffman, Yenting Hsu, Riitta Ikonen, Jennie Maydew, Eric Oglander, Megan Pahmier, Brett Swenson, and myself!

Opening Saturday, July 14, 5-8pm. 

Closing Reception Aug 5, 5–7pm, featuring a performance by hypnosis artist Shauna Cummins and interdisciplinary artist Dominika Ksel.
The Castle at b117 & Newport Ave, in Rockaway Park

Also!  Throughout the Lightning Whelk, I'll be donating 15% of all print sales made on my website to the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance, a community-based organization dedicated to empowering residents of underserved communities in the Rockaways to play a role in the determination of their neighborhoods. 

View all limited-edition prints for sale here, and help me raise money for this worthwhile local org!

"Many Layered Moments" Opens June 2 in Gowanus

Hot on the heels of my debut solo exhibition is a unique show featuring myself and Katie M. Westmoreland. Our work is perfectly paired in that we both think about the elasticity of time (in her case, the fleeting, and in my case, the compression of time into a single frame). We also both think about the natural in the urban environment. This promises to be a satisfying installation on the shores of the Gowanus canal, in a unique setting: a boathouse-cum-gallery run by the ever-enthusiastic art supporter Owen Foote. I hope that you'll consider joining me for the opening of the show, June 2, 2018 5-8pm, and a gallery talk June 16 (time tbd).  

Show up through June 27, with hours: Wednesdays 6-8pm; Saturdays 1-5pm
Opening Reception, with snacks and drinks Saturday, June 2 from 5-8pm
Get more information here.

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Debut Solo Exhibition in Rockaway

I'm proud to have been selected by Rockaway Artists Alliance as the winner of their Solo Show Competition. I'll be showing work May 12-27, 2018 in sTudio 6 Gallery in Fort Tilden, with an opening on May 12 4-7pm. Here's an article about the show, below is the press release. Come share this work with me!

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ROCKAWAY ARTISTS ALLIANCE is proud to present a solo presentation of work by Michelle Zassenhaus,  the winner of our 2018 Solo Show Competition.  Zassenhaus’ work in Beyond What’s Known is the culmination of a “self-styled” residency the artist completed at Rockaway Beach this winter season. Whilst grappling with life-changing events, for which the show is a metaphor, Zassenhaus creates a handful of personal surveys of the landscape at the water’s edge.

Through her characteristic large-format long exposures and other photographic techniques, Zassenhaus captures the “signature” of the place that is Rockaway, an area which, unbeknownst to many, sits within the New York City limits yet presents an entirely different setting than that for which New York City is typically known.  

In her series City Meets Sea (as in #16 (Rockaway Beach)), Zassenhaus’ human-scaled images, at 60x75” seduce the viewer in their ephemerality reminiscent of color field paintings. Another series on the same subject features images created by a camera left overnight, resulting in striking 10-hour exposures. In other work, Zassenhaus explores more inland qualities, noting “At night, I sense a quiet solitude. The ocean ebbs in the moonlight. Tightly nestled houses of architectural miscellany lurk quietly in the dark, only the occasional glowing window suggesting people within. Above, you’re serenaded by the relentless roar of low-flying air traffic destined for the nearby airport, one of the busiest in the country.” The result is a series of long exposures that depict the quiet neighborhood and transform the air traffic into beautifully patterned trails through the night sky. Finally, Zassenhaus presents several “sketches”, titled Ways of Telling Time, as the artist plays with how time is measured by light, decay, and ritual.

Beyond What’s Known is Zassenhaus’ exploration of one’s own limits within the boundaries of the city’s largely unexplored outer limits, a place of unique beauty captured in the timeless medium of photography.

MICHELLE ZASSENHAUS (American, b.1974) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She received her BFA in Art Photography from Syracuse University’s School of Visual and Performing Arts. Her photographs have been exhibited across the United States. Her work has been recognized by Photo District News, L’Œil de la Photographie, and Don’t Take Pictures. This is her debut solo exhibition.

sTudio 6 Gallery, Fort Tilden, Gateway National Recreation Area, Rockaway Point, NY 11695

Gallery Hours Sat, Sun 12-4p

Free Events
Opening Reception Saturday May 12, 4-7p
Sun Print (Cyanotype) Workshop, All ages, Sunday May 20, 12-1p
Yoga with Rachel Krieger of Rockaway Love, Sunday May 20, 3- 4p
Meditation with Joseph Giacona of Williamsburg Meditation, Sunday May 20, 4-5p
Closing Party Sunday May 27, 2-4p
 

The State of the Art

It’s been two and a half months… what the hell have I been doing? Great question.

My “self-styled” residency began in November and will run through April. I had originally planned to diverge (as in, experiment, stoke many ideas) through the end of the year, and converge (as in, select a couple to focus on) January through April. However I realized that the handful of ideas I’m exploring exist because as a photographer I’m dependent on conditions, and not all times of day / days provide the right conditions for work, which is why I have about 10 different projects going: I simply devised new ideas during times of day that I couldn’t work on the others. Continue Reading...

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The Flabby Muscle of Intuition

This post appears in my Medium series about my Self-Styled Residency.

In September I attended a Photography Festival in Chicago. I’m not very good at conferences; though I can be outgoing (and have a knack for meeting Very Important People by happenstance), I don’t have much appetite for contrived activities and often venture out on my own. After a few solid days of conference stuff, I was needing to stretch my legs. As luck would have it, the program provided a convenient destination: an evening talk a couple miles across town by the photographer John Chiara, whom I had never heard of. I’d walk, grab a glass of wine, and check it out.  Continue Reading...

 Some of my latest experiments; my polaroid camera keeps fucking up so I’m trying to work with it!

Some of my latest experiments; my polaroid camera keeps fucking up so I’m trying to work with it!

Self-Styled Residency

I've created my own residency for the Winter and begun writing about it on Medium.

Impetus

Winter. It’s when most sane individuals avoid the beach. For me, there’s nothing more raw, wild, threatening and therefore exhilirating than the winter ocean. Beginning next month, I’ll be there with it, seeing winter through in Rockaway Beach, New York City. Continue Reading...

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Chicago

Last week I returned from an inspiration-filled week at Filter Photography, where I had my work reviewed by artists, gallerists, and photo-industry folk who I deeply admire: Darren ChingKat KiernanCarson SandersCorey KellerJon FeinsteinJennifer Friess and Catherine Edelman

The overall tone of the event was friendly and constructive and I got tremendous feedback I can't wait to put to work. On a free afternoon I had a few hours to stroll around the city; here are a few shots I took.

Showing at Brooklyn Workshop Gallery Mar 17-26

I'm pleased to announce I'll be showing two pieces from City Meets Sea: Meditations, at the Brooklyn Workshop Gallery, through March 26.

Part of what I love about this gallery, and Martine Bisagni, the founder, is how strongly they believe in supporting up and coming artists like myself, and their dedication to engaging with the community at large, through artist-lead classes and workshops.

This is a unique opportunity for me to share my otherwise difficult-to-share [very large] work, and to support an institution that relies on their community. Please consider stopping in to see the work, and the beautiful things Martine has spun up through her beloved space. 

Opening Friday, March 17, 5-8p

  • Brooklyn Workshop Gallery is located at 393 Hoyt Street in Brooklyn, NY 11231
  • The work will be on view through March 26. The gallery is open Thu & Fri 1-7p; Sat & Sun 12-7, and Tues & Wed by appointment. You can reach the gallery at 718.797.9428 or martine.bisagni@gmail.com with inquiries

As always, thank you for your support. I hope to see you there!

My 2016 Love Affair with The Rockaways

2016 was the year I officially fell in love with the Rockaways. As part of my exploration of all the wild places within the boundaries of NYC, I have been obsessed with Jamaica Bay for years, and this gorgeous recently renovated 9-mile expanse of ocean front drew me right in. There's so much more for me to explore here, which I'll certainly do in 2017. View the images.