Danny Ghitis’ Harlem Valley
March 9-31 | 47 Bergen Street, Boreum Hill
For its Grand Re-Opening, Recession Art presents a solo exhibition by photographer Danny Ghitis, focusing on his work documenting New York’s Harlem Valley. The Harlem Valley is a region in eastern Dutchess County, New York that Ghitis discovered during an artist residency at the Wassaic Project. Ghitis describes the Harlem Valley as a place that exists in between the past and future. He states, “Many of its towns are limited to one landmark sign; others are struggling to stay afloat. It is in the middle of nowhere, yet a short train ride away from the center of the world.”
An essential force behind Ghitis’ photographs of Harlem Valley is the absence of New York City and the vacuum created by its magnetism. The name of the region serves as a gesture toward the urban monster looming over the hills. Ghitis states, “Because Harlem brings to mind the fast-paced, energetic lifestyle associated with New York City, it’s difficult for me to ignore the irony of the quiet hamlets, the remnants of an industrial past that share its name.”
The photographs are not intended to be a factual document of the area, but rather a poem written from within, presenting a version of the truth. As a trained photojournalist, Ghitis always tries to negotiate his preconceptions and summon some objectivity. However, he acknowledges that his images of Harlem Valley aren’t intended to provide information that “tells it like it is”. Instead, Ghitis states, the images, “are not only visual consequences of Harlem Valley’s history, but also represent its complex present existence and many potential futures.”
Danny Ghitis is a Brooklyn-based photographer specializing in social documentary and portraiture. The son of Jewish South American immigrants, he moved around as a child, which helped him develop an interest in documenting strangers and culturally ambiguous spaces. Ghitis graduated from the University of Florida in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism, and works as a freelance photojournalist for a variety of clients, including The New York Times.
Image: Danny Ghitis, Untitled from Harlem Valley