PDN Photo of the Day

Picturing the Shared Sanctuary of Public Spaces

In his new series “Sanctuary,” Matthew Pillsbury uses his shimmering, long-exposure approach to making images to picture public spaces, finding subtle or direct political meaning in these spaces. On view at Benrubi Gallery in New York City in a show opening today and running until November 22,  the show includes images made in New York, Cleveland, Chicago and elsewhere. Among the scenes Pillsbury photographs are an early morning rave at New York’s Judson Memorial Church, its participants a colorful blur under stained glass windows; the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens, where fountains spray mist around shadowy figures playing in the water under the globe; and the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., where a sea of indistinct pink hats frames the Washington Monument. Some moments are quieter. A single blurred figure takes a selfie at sunset on Chicago’s North Avenue Beach, and another stands in front of the Post-It notes that spontaneously covered Union Square’s subway walls after the November election, a red shadow in front of a neon grid. Together, the images are a portrait of the public spaces where people turn for comfort, together or alone.

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