© 2019 Anna Van Lenten

Heart of the South Bronx: Trades / Martine Fougeron

September 2014

Exhibit opening, screening, & talk
Tuesday September 17, 2014, 7:30 PM
Moderated by curator Elisabeth Biondi

Ongoing since 2011, Bronx Trades is a hybrid art project / document about the active industries of two Bronx, NY neighborhoods, Port Morris and Hunts Point. Steel, metal recycling, large-scale printing, handmade bedding, and wooden boat-making are but a handful of the operations Martine Fougeron has discovered as functioning quite robustly no less than six miles from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan.

 

Recognizing beauty and life in forms and places typically overlooked, Martine's eye transforms the rusted, graffiti'd, fractured, used, and worn into urban baroque ornamentation. Her photos are structured along four lines: portrait, landscape, environment, & abstract. The pictures have been used in the community for youth instruction about trades, and will take the form of outdoor murals.

 

Some of the industries she brings to us are centuries-old and some are 21st century. But no matter their era, their location makes this project a happy revelation. For Bronx Trades shows us that thing-making, fossil fuel storage, art—even artisanal baking—persist as solid businesses and enterprises in NYC. It shows us that not all of the city has given way to the forces of high-end real estate. In fact, her photos affirm both the artistry and everyday heroics of intrepid people whose work entails craft and bodily labor.

- Anna Van Lenten

 

MARTINE FOUGERON, Parisian-born, is a fine art photographer based in New York since 1996. Her work has been exhibited internationally and is held in major public and private collections. With incisive images of life and culture in NYC, she is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and New York Magazine. Fougeron has worked as a photographer since 2006 when she graduated from ICP; she is now on the faculty there. Prior to that, she had a successful career in the fragrance industry, where she was the “nose of the noses'” of 20 world-class perfumers. Her first monograph, Teen Tribe, will be published by Steidl in 2015.