Images of Coney Island, Tickets to Dreamland is a continuing series I began in 1994. I have always been intrigued by boardwalk amusement parks, carnivals, and state fairs. In fact, my Midway series was inspired, in part, by much of this earlier work.
Amusement parks offer an almost overwhelming kaleidoscopic display of colors, lights, endless forms, shapes, smells, and a cacophony of musical sounds-- a dreamy, sometimes nightmarish, Crayola-colored seductive world that continues to entice.
I first photographed Coney Island in the winter of 1994, while living in NYC. Coney Island is probably the most photographed amusement park in the world. Visually mesmerizing, I have continued to return there, long after that very first visit. I am lured by all those saturated colors and lyrical promising prose (Wonder Wheel! Thunderbolt! Dreamland Park! Astroland!), and the comparatively monochromatic, much less optimistic backdrop against which the Coney Island Boardwalk is set.
So much of this landscape I photographed early on has now completely vanished, only to be replaced by other and equally magical dreamlands.