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Salim Hasbini ‘Without Words’ at Littlefield

Ready for his closeup: Ridge photographer develops first solo show

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It is his first shot at the big time.

A budding Bay Ridge photographer is breaking onto the scene with his first solo exhibition “Without Words” at Gowanus venue Littlefield on April 10, showcasing his candid snaps of goings-on along New York City’s streets.

The Ridge-raised shutterbug started shooting in 2010, but said he didn’t spend much time documenting his backyard at first. Now, Hasbini said, he is focusing his lens closer to home, trying to capture a newcomer’s sense of wonder in the neighborhood that is already etched into the soles of his shoes.

“[Photograp­hy] encouraged me to walk around the city a bit — I started paying attention to the places I was already going in a way I didn’t before,” he said. “The idea is for me to go back and apply the attention that I give when I’m shooting to Bay Ridge.”

Hasbini was born in Oklahoma, but his family moved to Bay Ridge when he was 10 months old. As a result, his Brooklyn bona fides run deep — he attended PS 185, the Dyker Heights School, and Brooklyn Tech, before obtaining a bachelor’s degree at Brooklyn College. Hasbini said his Kings County pedagogical pedigree makes up for the fact that he was not born here.

“It cancels out the Midwestern,” said Hasbini, who will also exhibit his snaps at Councilman Vincent Gentile’s district office in Bay Ridge during the neighborhood’s Storefront Art Walk in May.

After high school, Hasbini studied television and radio at the Macaulay Honors College at Brooklyn College. He took a photography class on a lark in his junior year, and discovered his new hobby was more satisfying than videography, he said.

“With photography, it’s all the challenges you have in film, but you have one chance to capture the moment, because whatever you capture is completely static,” Hasbini said.

But static doesn’t mean boring. Hasbini said he seeks out fleeting moments on city streets, searching for images that tell stories. Scenes in “Without Words” include women lounging on park benches, folks admiring the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, and police altercations.

Hoping his work will stand on its own, Hasbini said he will not caption any of the photos he shows at Littlefield — and he may not even title them.

“A big part of me doesn’t even care to do that,” he said. “But if I did, it would be basic descriptions as opposed to having the name clue you in to what you’re supposed to be feeling.”

“Without Words” at Littlefield (622 Degraw St. between Third and Fourth avenues in Gowanus, www.littlefieldnyc.com, www.salimhasbini.com). April 10 at 6 pm. Free.

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at mjaeger@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–8303. Follow him on Twitter @JustTheMax.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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