Sylvia Plachy’s New Show

Photographer Sylivia Plachy, mother of Adrian Brody, student of Andre Kertesz, and at one time a Metropolis photo columnist continues to be an inspiration to me. Her eye is unerring when it comes to capturing the richness and pathos of humanity in the built environment. Her new show, This Side of Paradise, opens on April 4th and runs through June 5, a the Andrew Freedman Home, in the Bronx. She originally took the photos of the inhabitants of room 246 to accompany an article by Vivian Gornick for The Village Volice in 1980. Here Sylvia talks about the experience of then, and putting together the show now.

“Room 246 is my homage to those who once lived in the Andrew Freedman Home, founded and built for aging capitalists who have fallen on hard times. In January 1980 I came a few times to visit and photograph. I was charmed by the place and the people.

“Each night the tenants dressed for dinner. They sat in well-furnished spaces and read or conversed. They played cards under the dim lights of chandeliers to keep the dark away. They were haunting even then, so much like my grandmother and older people I knew when I was a child in Hungary.

“Eventually the Foundation collapsed and the home disintegrated.

“My installation is a recreation of a room, the way I remember it might have been. Most of the furnishings were found here and some were borrowed from friends or brought from my home. On the walls, along with paintings by the residents are my photographs of the rooms and the faces of those who lived here during that week in January. The reprint of Vivian Gornick’s brilliant article is there for you to read. To fill the room with music, Ed Tomney compiled songs and instrumentals from vinyl 78’s that we know our parents and grandparents liked and would have been enjoyed to listen to. Please come, sit and stay a little.”

Opening Reception Wednesday, April 4 from 6 to 8pm followed by the Speakeasy After Party Fundraiser sponsored by St. Germain starting at 8:30pm. Support NLE and future exhibitions by purchasing tickets here.

Exhibition Hours: Thursday to Sunday, 1pm to 7pm (extended hours when events are hosted).

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