DOWN BY THE HUDSON
“I don’t know what post-industrial decline means. It is a vague notion in my head. Boarded-up homes, the husk of dead factories with broken windows and overgrown grass, businesses gone to seed. What draws me to Caleb Stein’s images is that he provides us with the people missing from my mental picture. And what’s honest about these images is that instead of people, we get faces. Consider the remarkable image of the Prom Boy, a picture taken on the street on which I live. This image does fill me with wonder. Such a fine, almost tender mix of contradictions. I don’t know whether I’m right or wrong about the young man, but all I can be certain about is that this is what living is about, this tussle with the real, this strange encounter across divisions of race and class, in a rectangular visual space. This is life”. – Amitava Kumar
“Whilst Stein’s images are contemporary portraits of a time, place and people, they are also those little snippets excavated from the ether of time, sharing and communicating the fears and hopes; loves, lives and dreams of time immemorial. Stein takes us down by the Hudson, at a time when life is full of irresolution. There we seek absolution in solution; hope in history; peace and harmony that only The Watering Hole can provide. Stein’s powerful, achingly beautiful Down by the Hudson is a dip in the waters of serenity, community and solidarity. A dip we all so desperately need today.” – Matt Carey-Williams
Graduated from Vassar College in 2017 with a degree in Art History, Stein’s (b. 1994, London) work explores the fragility of memory through an embrace of community and the dynamic, energetic interactions that occur within it. Much of Stein’s work is concerned with questions of mythology in the United States as he grapples with his relationship to the country that has become his adopted home. Stein’s work embraces the lyrical potential of photography where tensions between the poetic and the emotionally confrontational can be found. His work has been shown internationally, often as an artist duo with Andrea Orejarena (b. 1994, Colombia). Independently, Stein has been nominated for major photographic awards, including a recent LensCulture nomination by Legacy Russell (Senior Director, The Kitchen).