Sections

Photographer captures nature and decay in Gowanus

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:

It is Gowanus after dark.

“Gowanus Wild,” a photography exhibit opening at Ground Floor Gallery on Oct. 10, showcases the titular neighborhood’s natural, nighttime side. The roving cameraman behind the show said the project grew out of a love for nature and the weird urban decay of the blocks surrounding the murky depths of the Gowanus Canal.

“Walking around at night I just got hooked on these eerie scenes,” said Miska Draskoczy, a filmmaker and photographer who lives on the border of Park Slope and Gowanus. “I spend a lot of time upstate, and so these walks just felt like urban hikes.”

The photos show a side of Gowanus that gets lost in the constant discussion of the canal’s toxic sludge and polluted waters. Flowers, trees, and even birds co-mingle with wire fences, graffitied brick walls, and long-forgotten traffic cones, all captured under the creepy cover of night.

Draskoczy moved to Gowanus in 2008, and has been has been photographing the neighborhood’s wildest and most remote corners since 2012. He was already working in the film industry, but that year, he decided to take a photography class and his first assignment was to photograph his “happy place,” he said.

So Draskoczy began prowling around the deserted, industrial streets of Gowanus at night, snapping shots of plants, wildlife, and urban decay. That project has now bloomed into an increasingly successful side career.

“I just went with my gut,” he said. “It’s changed a lot, but back then you could walk around all night and not run into anyone.”

“Gowanus Wild” is the first solo show at Ground Floor Gallery since it opened in Park Slope in April this year. One of the founders of the gallery said Draskoczy’s work is a perfect fit for the gallery’s mission to serve art in the neighborhood.

“The area is changing so fast that already some of the sites in his photographs no longer exist or have changed,” said Krista Saunders, director of Ground Floor, singling out a photograph of the Coignet Building and the lot that now holds Whole Foods.

“We really wanted to jump on it first and we love that we’re the first ones to show the whole series,” she said.

The exhibit will run until Nov. 9, when Draskoczy plans to lead a walk around Gowanus to showcase some of the areas he has photographed.

“Gowanus Wild” opening reception at Ground Floor Gallery (343 Fifth Ave. between Fourth and Fifth streets in Park Slope, www.groundfloorbk.com). Oct. 10 at 6:30 pm. Free.

Reach reporter Noah Hurowitz at nhurowitz@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–4505. Follow him on Twitter @noahhurowitz
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

sandra pettway from gowanus projects says:
Back in the late 50's or early 60's, the streets parallel to the canal was kind of spooky. I'd walk very quickly along that path. I even dreamt of walking there, which would end up a nightmare!
Oct. 12, 2014, 11:21 am
Jessyca from Youneedtorelax says:
Hey people maybe you are too stressed and need to relax, that's why you can easily choose a massage therapist from USA Massage Directory https://www.massage-directory.net/directory/usa-massage/
Jan. 24, 2017, 8:19 pm

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter:

Optional: