Bacalaitos and Fireworks

Posted by on Jun 29, 2011 in Gail Quagliata | One Comment

My friend Arlene Gottfried has been shooting in and around her hometown of NYC since the 1970s. Her latest book (which is just coming out), “Bacalaitos and Fireworks,” tracks her 40 odd years documenting her time in and around the Nuyorican community. From the quiet portraits of her dearly departed Miguel Piñero to the crackling, color-saturated moments stolen during parades and everything in between (a pig roasting in a rubble-filled city lot, little girls in crisp communion gowns marching past the dystopian, surreal setpieces of a crumpled car and a battered tv, bizarre moments of city life that would seem staged if the characters caught therein weren’t so irrefutably genuine), Arlene manages to make the viewer feel like he or she is with her in that moment, like a welcome participant in some grand secret, great spectacle, private moment, neighborhood function, or deep sorrow. She’ll be presenting her work at 3pm today at B&H’s Event Space on 34th and 9th.