Documenting Decay: Seeing Art in Street Layers of Detritus

Street photographer Vinny Cornelli joins Brooklyn Street Art today to contribute his voice to the dialogue of the street, in what we hope will be an ongoing conversation.

© Vincent Cornelli

© Vincent Cornelli

An enthusiastic traveler and documenter, with his images Vinny reveals an inner world that lies behind the camera; affecting his choices of subjects and how he frames them.

© Vincent Cornelli

© Vincent Cornelli

In addition to shooting street art, he specializes in something he calls street layers; those accumulated overlapping stratum of posters and wheatpastes common on abandoned buildings and work-sites, layers of paper torn back to reveal the inside guts of the street and it’s history.  Part collage, part archeology, the resulting street layers are finished presentations in his view, as much as they are one more ethereal moment in street history.

© Vincent Cornelli

© Vincent Cornelli

This week is the first of a two-part photo essay by Cornelli focusing on one of New York’s more recently famous addresses in street art’s oeuvre.  Before it became a celebrated event space, this location was one of the destinations regularly visited by myriad street artists.

© Vincent Cornelli
© Vincent Cornelli

As is often the case, it was also an urban scene of neglect and, in Vinny’s eye, beautiful decay.  Vinny takes this first opportunity to talk to BSA’s readers in these, some of his first contemplative images of the street early in this decade.

© Vincent Cornelli

© Vincent Cornelli

To veterans of New York’s street art scene, see if you can identify the location, and drop us a line.

Next week Vinny shows us what it looked like when street artist’s took it over formally.

© Vincent Cornelli

© Vincent Cornelli

© Vincent Cornelli

© Vincent Cornelli

© Vincent Cornelli

© Vincent Cornelli

© Vincent Cornelli

© Vincent Cornelli

Vincent Cornelli

© Vincent Cornelli

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© Vincent Cornelli

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