Past

Throughout the twentieth century, Harlem has been regarded as a beacon of African-American history and culture. Sites such as the Apollo Theater, Abyssinian Baptist Church, and Malcolm X Corner at 125th Street and Seventh Avenue serve as popular postcard images that represent significant places and moments in this community. Today, Harlem continues to evolve as a center of history and culture. Everyday, changes are witnessed by its residents and experienced by tourists and visitors from all over the world. Harlem Postcards, an ongoing project, invites contemporary artists of diverse backgrounds to reflect on Harlem as a site of cultural activity, political vitality, visual stimuli, artistic contemplation and creative production. Representing intimate and dynamic perspectives of Harlem, the images reflect each artist’s oeuvre with an idiosyncratic snapshot taken in, or representing, this historic locale. Each photograph has been reproduced as a limited-edition postcard available free to visitors.

This season, we are pleased to feature postcard images created by Senetchut Floyd, Phillip Pisciotta, Tribble & Mancenido and Genesis Valencia.
 

Senetchut Floyd

Faceless, 2011

View artist statement Send this postcard

St. Nicholas and West 125th Street. I sit here watching the people, calling out to them, calling for them to come and read me or have a conversation, but no one comes, no one notices me. I am faceless.

Expanding the Walls participant, born 1995 Kamit Preparatory Institute, Brooklyn, NY

Phillip Pisciotta

What Is Won by “Continuing to Play,” East Harlem, NYC, 2006

View artist statement Send this postcard

This photograph was taken quickly. There is nothing canned about it. The man in the photograph lived down the street from me. I had attempted to photograph him a number of times, but the information in the frame of the photograph(s) didn't quite come together. Sometimes it is helpful for an artist to stay in an area—to saturate. But other times it can make work tired and stale. As luck would have it, the potential of the image presented itself, and I had my camera with me.

Born 1970, Bryn Mawr, PA Lives and works in New York, NY

Tribble & Mancenido

I Love You, Harlem, 2011

View artist statement Send this postcard

We created a “Found In Harlem” series focusing on the commodities one finds on 125th Street—African fabrics, incense and oils, books, mix-tape-style CDs, etc—staying clear of the corporate chain stores that are dramatically altering the landscape. We felt that it was important to document what has made, and continues to make Harlem so unique. These individual merchants and their goods are a large part of that. I Love You, Harlem is a celebration of Harlem as a place and an idea, in both past and present.

James Frank Tribble (Born 1983, Columbia, SC) Tracey Mancenido-Tribble (Born 1980, Staten Island, NY) Live and work in Jersey City, NJ

Genesis Valencia

Hands With a Heart, 2011

View artist statement Send this postcard

I was walking along the streets of Harlem when I heard the sound of drums fill the air. I made my way toward the music and was pleasantly surprised to find this group of men sitting under the Adam Clayton Powell statue on 125th Street. The group was large—men both young and old laughed and smiled together as their hands tapped rapidly along the drums’ surface. Their cheer was contagious; a crowd formed as the music brightened the environment. Onlookers clapped and cheered as the festive drumming brought warmth to their souls. Even I, tired as I was, tapped my feet and moved to the rhythm. I quickly brought out my camera and began to snap pictures. This is Harlem, I thought, a world of its own full of culture, color and energy.

Expanding the Walls participant, born 1993 LaGuardia Arts High School, New York, NY