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Art Deco Buffalo | Re-Imaging the Past II

Art Deco Buffalo photo essay Noa Eden Wynn, daughter of Jeff Wynn of Goldwynn

Re-Imaging the Past II is an ongoing series, exploring the Art Deco era within New York, specifically Buffalo, in the 1920s and ‘30s. The photo series investigates female-dominated narratives of fictionalized characters going through the chronicles of everyday life during this period.

The Art Deco period emitted a magical era of cinema, architecture, fashion, and the “morals of immorality.”

Re-Imaging the Past (L-R) Buffalo, New York c. 1929 | 69 Delaware, Buffalo. c. 1928

Through a combination of portraits, still-lives, and cinemagraphs – the viewer is drawn in and encapsulated in this oeuvre of fictionalized, Art Deco-era inspired narratives. The intent is for viewers to want to get behind the facade of these women and ask: Who was she? Why is she here? What does she want? The images aim to go beyond a tableau vivant-like picture, and call for the viewer to truly engage with this time-specific narrative.

Re-Imaging the Past – 69 Delaware, Buffalo. c. 1928

The imagery focuses on the daily life of these women within the common, quintessential American spaces such as lobbies, train stations, streets, suburban homes, and more. The oeuvre of images evokes ideas from Edward Hopper’s cinematic portrayals of human melancholy within prototypical American, urban sites.

Re-Imaging the Past II was initially inspired by Cindy Sherman’s photograph Untitled Film Stills #21 from her series Untitled Film Stills. Sherman explores the female heroine in these time specific periods as she is often creating mysterious, unfinished narratives within each image. Untitled Film Stills often focus on the before and after, and leave the viewer questioning the reasoning behind each image. Re-Imaging the Past II in a way is a reaction to the stereotypical depiction of the female heroine Sherman presents within her single image stills. My series focuses on the development and relationship of the characters through multiple photographs that creates meaning to these fictionalized figures.

Re-Imaging the Past – 69 Delaware, Buffalo. c. 1928

The heart of the narrative, the beginning and the ending, takes place in the grand lobby of 69 Delaware within Buffalo – built during the roaring 20s. It is where each characters’ story begins. Each female figure is waiting within this lobby for different reasons. This photo narrative aims to investigate these different figures within the lobby, and explore their “stories” through enticing, encaptivating imagery that gives these characters multiple layers.

Re-Imaging the Past (L-R) 69 Delaware, Buffalo. c. 1928 | Still Life Diptych, 1928

I want to show different stages of these existential crises, problems, and emotions of these figures. I am hoping viewers re-image and reimagine these female figures as I place a contemporary viewpoint on these fictionalized characters within the 1920s and ‘30s.

Re-Imaging the Past – Silo City, Buffalo. c. 1929
Re-Imaging the Past c. 1932
Re-Imaging the Past – Kleinhans Music Hall, Buffalo. c. 1938.
Re-Imaging the Past – Park Street, Buffalo. c. 1939
Re-Imaging the Past – Park Street, Buffalo. c. 1939
Re-Imaging the Past – Central Terminal, Buffalo c. 1929.
(L-R) Central Terminal, Buffalo c. 1929. | Buffalo, New York c. 1929
Re-Imaging the Past – Buffalo, New York c. 1929
Re-Imaging the Past – Lafayette Hotel, Buffalo, New York c. 1930
Re-Imaging the Past – Lafayette Hotel, Buffalo, New York c. 1930
Re-Imaging the Past – Lafayette Hotel, Buffalo, New York c. 1930
Re-Imaging the Past – Lafayette Hotel, Buffalo, New York c. 1930
Re-Imaging the Past – Lafayette Hotel, Buffalo, New York c. 1930

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Written by BRo Guest Authors

BRo Guest Authors

It’s not unusual for authors to come and go. Guest authors range from collegiate interns to writers who will be contributing for a short stint of time. Guest authors might also have a series in mind. Authors are encouraged to submit their ideas to BRO (Buffalo Rising Online), upon which time we will work with the writer towards a productive end.

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