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Report From Photoville

Report From Photoville

Every September, in the shadow of New York’s iconic and much-photographed Manhattan Bridge, a small city grows…
Miora Rajaonary, Lamba © Bill Shapiro

Constructed of shipping containers-turned-mini-galleries, and lit up in the evenings by gentle hanging bulbs, Photoville rises for two much-anticipated weekends. And the photo community shows up in force: Last year, an estimated 90,000 visitors strolled through its gates.

Whereas New York’s big AIPAD show each spring draws bespectacled dealers and dressed-in-black collectors whispering about “upside,” Photoville, now in its eighth year, draws a warmer, more consciously casual tribe. With cameras hanging from necks and iPhones in hand, it feels possible that every other person at Photoville is a photographer of one kind or another. 

© Bill Shapiro

And while you will certainly find fine art at Photoville, it’s far more likely that you’ll come across exhibits with social justice themes as well as work from emerging photographers. It’s also likely that you’ll stumble upon bold-face-name photographers: Ed Kashi, Ron Haviv, and Ruddy Roye were strolling the grounds late on the first afternoon.

This year, the 34 shipping containers and dozens of “display cubes” exhibit the pictures of some 600 photographers; many containers hold the work of a single artist but others present as group shows: The wonderful and jam-packed exhibit by The Society of Motion Picture Still Photographers, for instance, shows 85 pictures by nearly that many shooters. In short, there’s a lot to look at and, with photographer talks, photo walks, gear demonstrations (Leica, Adobe, etc.) and evening programming, a lot to take in.

Vincent Tremeau, One Day I Will © Bill Shapiro

© Bill Shapiro

By Bill Shapiro

Bill Shapiro is the former editor-in-chief of Life magazine and the author of

What We Keep.


September 12-22, 2019

Brooklyn Bridge Park, New York

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