Brooklyn, NY – Local photographer Miska Draskoczy, in conjunction with the Gowanus Canal Conservancy, is pleased to announce the publication of Gowanus Wild, a deluxe coffee table style photo book exploring the evolving state of nature and wilderness in the contaminated industrial neighborhood of Gowanus, Brooklyn.
The images in Gowanus Wild depict scenes of urban decay intertwined with wild growth, captured just as the neighborhood began to transition into one of Brooklyn’s current hotbeds of urban renewal and development. With the federal government’s Superfund cleanup plan recently kicking into high gear, a new chapter begins for this waterway infamous for its environmental destruction, but which has long held New Yorkers’ fascination as an eerie and otherworldly place.
The book contains more than 50 color images, an essay by Andrea Parker, Executive Director of the Gowanus Canal Conservancy, as well as nine poems and an essay by photographer Miska Draskoczy. A book launch party and artist talk is scheduled for Thursday November 17th, 7-9pm at the Gowanus Canal Conservancy, 543 Union St. Brooklyn, NY 11217 (RSVP: email@example.com). A second launch event will take place on Sunday, December 4th, 4-6pm at the Gowanus Souvenir Shop (RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org) which will host an exhibition of prints from the series and feature an opening reception and artist talk with photographer Miska Draskoczy and photo editor Emily Shornick.
Gowanus Wild is published by Unnatural Kingdom, a newly launched Brooklyn-based small press focused on art and photography editions, and in conjunction with the Gowanus Canal Conservancy, an organization which serves as the environmental steward for the Gowanus Canal Watershed and envisions the evolution of an open, clean and alive canal and neighborhood. Additional support comes from Arts Gowanus, a local arts organization which runs the annual Gowanus Open Studios event and which is committed to ongoing support of Gowanus artists.
“As Gowanus enters a period of dramatic change, ranging from the comprehensive cleanup to a probable rezoning to rising sea levels, it is critical that we treasure and steward the neighborhood’s productive industrial and ecological history. This book is a testament to the current wild power of the Gowanus Canal, and an important part of the dialogue in what it will become.” –Andrea Parker, Executive Director, Gowanus Canal Conservancy
“I believe that the human desire to connect with wilderness is a primal force in constant search of outlets. As we increasingly live in a world where nature and the man-made are inseparable, I hope this book will serve as a trail guide to accessing the wonders of these hybrid ecosystems in the heart of our cities.” –Miska Draskoczy, photographer
Gowanus Wild is currently available for purchase at the publisher’s website and on Amazon.com for the retail price of $50.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
Photographer Miska Draskoczy has been widely exhibited in the US and abroad and is the recipient of numerous awards. His urban wilderness series, Gowanus Wild, has been shown as a solo show at The Brooklyn Public Library, Davis Orton Gallery, the Vermont Center for Photography and Ground Floor Gallery in Brooklyn, NY as well as in group shows such as THE FENCE at PHOTOVILLE 2013. His work has been featured in the press by The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Time Out, Brooklyn Magazine, PDN, The Photo Review, Featureshoot, Hyperallergic and many others as well as collected by institutions such as Tufts University and the Fitchburg Art Museum. Website: miskadraskoczy.com
Andrea Parker has a passion for regenerating urban green infrastructure through civic engagement. As the Executive Director of the Gowanus Canal Conservancy, she works to empower a community of environmental stewards and design advocates in the rapidly changing urban ecology of the Gowanus. As an instructor at City College of New York, she engages landscape architecture students with the complex forces at play in New York City’s dynamic urban ecology. Her prior work as a landscape designer was focused on community resilience after Superstorm Sandy, and as a gardener on building complex native plant communities in urban settings. She received a BA from the University of Chicago, studied Landscape Horticulture at Merritt College, and received a Masters in Landscape Architecture from the University of Virginia. Website: gowanuscanalconservancy.org