Lynley Bernstein


Growing up in suburbia USA on the brink of the midwest (somewhere PA), I have grown to despise cul de sacs, bushes in the shape of boxes, and strip malls with the same party and discount clothing stores. I prefer to integrate myself into non-native urban places and question what authenticity and local means in context of that space, and then maybe make something about it.

Whenever I enter a new urban space, I focus on exploring the specific area by foot, public transportation, car, and whatever other mode of moving is existent within the environment. Once becoming acquainted with the place of interest, I then begin to photograph, record, and collect items, and try to gain a better understanding of the various groups of people living in the area, how the land is being used, and how people move through it.

Within the past two years, my photographs and exploration have focused on the often forgotten borough of Queens. Even though both airports are located in the borough, people prefer to travel through, rather than visit. New York City is regarded as having exceptional transportation, however, the trains stop not even halfway through this large borough, and then busses and cars are the predominant and preferred form of transportation.

Lynley Bernstein grew up in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which often explains the gravitation towards making work about the city, and the urban versus suburban nature of many built environments. She gained a better understanding of not only how the image can translate the condition of a place, but also the history of the urban landscape during her time at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, where she began focusing on photographing cities. Bernstein moved to New York in 2011 to pursue her MFA degree from the ICP-Bard Photo program, concentrating her efforts on Queens, and graduating in 2013. She currently resides in Queens, where she is continuing her photographic exploration of the largest borough, making books, and determining what’s next.

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