The Best of Photoville 2017

Photoville continues through the 24th, visit our favorite exhibits

The Best of Photoville 2017

Photoville has once again struck gold. Tonight's opening of Brooklyn's premier photography event did not disappoint.

With over 70 indoor and outdoor exhibitions, the amount of material can be daunting. As usual, some of the shipping containers just draw you in with totally striking images. There is everything from Hamilton portraits, to images censored in China, to an incredible display by Marine Corps photographers. The event runs through September 24, 2017, in Brooklyn Bridge Plaza.

Sgt John Martinez told me how he kept seeing the beautiful smile on a young Afghani's face as he spoke to American soldiers. "I just wanted to capture that smile." Battles Won presents a selection of photographs by Marine photographers from all corners of the world.

On the other end of the spectrum is the harsh reality of the Charlottesville & Beyond gallery featuring several stark black and white images by Mark Peterson. Laura Roumanos, Photoville co-founder, decided at the last minute that it might be a strong addition to the containers. She wasn't wrong. Listen in as she describes how this last minute addition to the container shows came to be.

Tim Raphael, the producer behind "The Newest Americans," described Photoville "as a country fair for photographers, except that it's under the Brooklyn Bridge and you can see the best photography in the world." Coming from someone who presented a compelling piece of multimedia on the large screen under the majestic Brooklyn Bridge in the beer garden as one of the opening nighttime shows, it captured the crowd with its elegance. "The newest Americans" painted a canvas of Newark, New Jersey, as an incredible melting pot of what America has become, a place where people from all over the world come for new opportunities.

There are many containers that hold hidden treasures and our choices as those not to be missed are:

ATHLETE/HUMAN pairs athletes with some of the best sports photographers in the world for first-person stories on The Players’ Tribune. Founded by Derek Jeter, The Players’ Tribune showcases work from Walter Iooss Jr., Jed Jacobsohn, Maureen Cavanagh, Nate Gordon, Sam Maller, Taylor Baucom, Guillermo Hernandez, Pete Souza, and more mounted on a chain link fence inside their shipping container, giving a unique feel to the exhibit, almost like being at the ballfield.

China Through Chinese Eyes features the work of several visual storytellers published in Chinese media outlets, with some that were censored quickly and taken down from their Chinese outlets. One photo showing a mother cradling her child highlighted a vaccine scandal that destroyed the family’s life. It was heartbreaking and I could not take my eyes off of it.

Contact High spotlights the photographers who have played critical roles in bringing hip-hop and music culture to the masses by revealing the outtakes around some of the iconic images. Vikki Toback curated the show based on her weekly column for Mass Appeal magazine where she got photographers to pull their contact sheets and give intimate stories of how the images came to be. Having only 36 exposures on a roll of film makes for some interesting contact sheets. Sue Kwon has a contact sheet where half the roll is her doing laundry and the other half is her shoot of The Wu-Tang Clan.

MY SHOT: PORTRAITS FROM HAMILTON, AN AMERICAN MUSICAL is a slideshow within a totally black container with cast members looking at you from the far end of the room. It’s HAMILTON, what else do you need to say?

My Shot: Portraits from Hamilton, an American Musical: Daveed Diggs, ©Josh Lehrer

UNEARTH documents Myanmar, Southeast Asia’s second-largest country, where rich natural resources are the county’s main export. The photographs show large scale and simple mining underway, looking for gold, jade, oil and more.

My good friend Ron Haviv returned to PHOTOVILLE with “Lost Rolls America” features images from old rolls of film that have been set aside and forgotten. Listen as Ron describes the project.

Ron Haviv discusses Lost Rolls


The Photoville Containers in Brooklyn Bridge Plaza, ©Mark D Phillips
The Photoville Containers in Brooklyn Bridge Plaza, ©Mark D Phillips