The is an interview from the B&H Event Space with Derek Fahsbender
Thank you for taking the time to look at our project. We originally put this together in 2013 and Matt has been bugging me for years to resurrect the project.
So, we've had this 8.5x8.5 book produced so we could make it affordable. Each copy has been signed, and they are for sale at $45.00 each, which includes shipping to anywhere in the continental US.
The book is 84 pages and has 74 photos, along with a thoughtful introduction from Blake Andrews, and a few words at the end from Matt and I.
The original design was expertly re-imagined by Randi Rosh, and we are eternally grateful to her hard work and keen eye to details, and especially for her patience with the production process.
Purchases can be made a number of ways...
- VENMO: @Mike-Peters-53
- ZELLE: firstname.lastname@example.org
Whichever way you choose to order, please be sure to include a current address and email. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or comments.
PLEASE CHECK YOUR ADDRESS IN YOUR PAYPAL PROFILE!
Make sure you address is current and verified. We are not responsible for a wrong address. If you book is returned, we will need additional postage to resend it.
Please use the contact us link for international orders, and include your exact shipping address so we can properly calculate the cost. We will then send you a payment request through your choice of either PayPal, Zelle or Venmo with the exact amount. We apologize for the extra expense, but it's out of our control.
I found myself at Coney in 2003 on the day of the blackout, and fortunately we had a car.. The drive home took four and a half hours.
Back then Donald Trump was trying to fulfill his daddy’s legacy and build a casino, and a 45 story hotel there, and that freaked me out. It was still fairly run down, and a place where the working class could have a decent time for $20 or even less. I started shooting on the idea of my pictures being “The Last Days of Coney” and there was also a prick named Joe Sitt who had purchased a huge amount of Coney to try and flip to other developers. Fortunately Mayor Bloomberg, who I was not fond of, decided to leave Coney Island as an area for amusement only.
Since I’d been shooting a lot of film, all B&W, I saw the beginning of a nice pile of images. Since I no longer had a car, I would take the sometimes 90 minute subway ride there, and often my best picture from any trip, might happen on the train. Since I had started a subway project also back in 2003, the two projects dovetailed perfectly.
I think Mike is right about meeting at a Robert Frank event at the huge library on 5th Ave. Mike certainly put more time and concentration working with a Hasselblad than I did with my Leica M6. I would usually shoot 6 rolls and often got on the train going home with maybe one or two frames left, just in case. Except for the final day of Astroland, we never shot together, and would meet a few hours after arriving, and often I’d get chauffeured home in Mike’s car, which was quite a nice change of pace from the subway!
- Matt Weber
I started shooting at Coney Island when I brought my kids to visit in 2003. I made some photos on my Seagull 120 camera, trying to wrap my head around the square format. I went again in 2005 on assignment for Popular Photography Magazine. I felt a great affinity towards the well worn patina that seemed to permeate every aspect of the place. For a beach with a boardwalk, amusements and food vendors, it was affordable to working class people, and to me that was important because that’s how I grew up.
I always felt that Coney Island as a subject, I could never really do it justice as it was a well trodden path taken by photographers whose talent and bodies of work I cannot hold a candle to, and for a long time I avoided going back. I met Matt Weber, in the fall 2006 or spring of 2007 at a talk by Robert Frank at the NY Public Library.
I decided to photograph the Mermaid Parade in May 2007, and called Matt to see if he would be there. He was planning on it, and so we met up, chatted for a while, went our separate ways, deciding we would meet up later in the day. We've done that many times over the years at Coney. I would do my thing, shooting color with my Hasselblad, and he would shoot black & white with his Leica . It was fun and great to get to know him over the course of that summer. We've continued to meet up over the years, walking and talking, drinking coffee and eating lunch, visiting B&H and going to museums and galleries. A chance meeting, a summer of shooting, and from that we’ve forged a friendship that will last for our lifetimes.
The idea to collaborate on this book was Matt's idea, and it was a good one. His monochrome rectangles and my color squares bouncing off each other seemed like fun. He gave me a bunch of photos and I put them together. That was in 2011. We put the book on Blurb as a much larger version, but the price made it prohibitive to purchase for most people and we sold few copies. Matt kept talking about the book, and we decided to revisit it and put out this version. I hope you enjoy it.
- Mike Peters