Lifeguard Stand, Rockaway Beach, Queens, New York

by Ian Baguskas

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Artist Statement

Photographed on an unusually foggy summer day, this lifeguard stand is a beacon of modern humanity with all its fluorescent colors, on a day that fades all but the brightest spectrum.

Lifeguard Stand, Rockaway Beach, Queens, New York is part of an ongoing series, Searching, photographed throughout recreational locations in America. Searching looks at our unexplainable desire to explore and travel in order to experience untouched terrain and beautiful vistas, revealing the importance of landscape and nature in our lives as well as the signs of modern civilization that get in the way. Where does this seemingly instinctual yearning to explore come from and why does experiencing nature make us happy anyway? Perhaps we gain pleasure from conquering the wilderness because it gives us a sense of achievement. This achievement, however, seems to be diminished by the ease in which we get there and perhaps the knowledge and evidence that so many others have been there already. Therefore, the very thing that allows us to so easily make these treks—infrastructure and modern technologies—robs us of at least some portion of the pleasure we seek. This leaves me to wonder: What are we looking for and how can we possibly find it?

Why We Love It

This isn’t the stereotypical beach scene. In Lifeguard Stand, Rockaway Beach, Queens, New York, Baguskas captures the seaside in a more mysterious mood. The unseasonable summer fog lends everything in frame an ephemeral, pseudo-supernatural air. Muted fluorescents are faded signs of the synthetic environment, a half-awareness of the built world—like one might drift through while waking from an afternoon nap on the sand. The abandoned lifeguard stand, scattered with odds and ends, suggests the recent presence of another person. That adds to the photo’s ghostly aura, a captivating quality that’ll call you back to the image again and again. The lingering presence also alters the experience of the landscape, tempering the solitude of the scene with the recognition that others have been there before, and will be there after ... Read more on the blog!

Details

+ Limited-edition, exclusive to 20x200
+ Museum quality: archival inks, 100% cotton rag paper unless noted
+ Signed + numbered certificate of authenticity included
+ Directly supports the artist
+ Handcrafted custom-framing is available

Our quoted dimensions are for the size of paper containing the images, not the printed image itself. We do not alter the aspect ratio, nor do we crop or resize the artists’ originals. All of our prints have a minimum border of .5 inches to allow for framing.

Medium:

Hahnemuhle Fine Art Baryta

Edition Structure:
10"x8" | edition of 10
14"x11" | edition of 250
20"x16" | edition of 50
30"x24" | edition of 10
40"x30" | edition of 5
50"x40" | edition of 2 

Ian Baguskas

Ian Baguskas grew up in Philadelphia, PA, and moved to New York on a full scholarship to the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, where he received his BFA. Ian is represented by Jen Bekman Gallery in New York, where he had his debut solo show, Sweet Water, in 2008. Other exhibitions include In Search of the Magnificent at the CCNY Art Gallery, in 2009; You Might Find Yourself at the Ice Box at Philadelphia's Crane Arts, in 2008, and Hey, Hot Shot! Ne Plus Ultra 2007 Annual and Hey, Hot Shot! 2006 Spring Showcase at Jen... Read More
Bekman Gallery. In 2008, Baguskas was named a PDN 30, one of the top 30 emerging photographers by Photo District News, and was a winner of Magenta's Flash Forward award for emerging photographers. He was also nominated for the KLM Paul Huf Award. In 2007, he was honored as one of four finalists for the Aperture Portfolio Prize, and was a winner of the Ne Plus Ultra, Hey, Hot Shot! Annual. Most recently Ian's work has won the British Journal of Photography Open Walls Arles 2020, exhibited at Galerie Huit Arles, the Life Framer 2020 Street Life category, and is included in the book, Observations in the Ordinary published by Subjectively Objective. Traveling extensively, Baguskas continues to make photographs based on ideas about modern exploration.
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