BROOKLYN, N.Y. – With Iron Man 3, Thor and Wolverine on or about to be on our movie screens this summer, it feels like superhero worship is everywhere, inspiring new generations of kids to don capes and fight evil. While it’s important to dream, it’s equally crucial to remember that superheroes come in a variety of forms.
The artists and subjects participating in United Photo Industries’ FENCE project (Super) Heroes wrapping around the Manhattan Bridge Anchorage, provide a much-needed counterbalance to those above-mentioned characters. The block below the Manhattan Bridge can get a little dark and lonely. The photos brighten the base of the bridge, balancing the sounds of cars and trains above.
The nine artists include Alex Gross, Astrid Verhoef, David Graham, Dulce Pinzon, Gregg Segal, Maleonn, Nicholas Silberfaden, Susanne Middelberg and Walter Iraheta explore everything from Hollywood Superman impersonators on their days off completing mundane tasks like car washing and mail collecting, to the everyday superheroes whose sacrifices for their families and neighborhoods are often silent ones.
All nine are worth a visit to DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Overpass Bridge), but my favorites were Dulce Pinzon’s shots of the people she calls the unsung heroes of New York, and Nicholas Silberfaden’s portraits of Hollywood impersonators on their days off. Pinzon captures an immigrant businessman waiting for a train, wearing wings, who regularly sends money overseas to his family, a window washer in a Spiderman costume, cleaning windows hundreds of feet above the city, a waiter in an unidentifiable blue muscle shirt serving food. My favorite of Silberfaden’s was a Captain America impersonator under the hood of his car.
It turns out even Captain America needs to be his own mechanic. Come visit him at the convergence of Adams Street, Plymouth Street and Anchorage Place.
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