Summer in the Bronx
Photographs by Edwin Torres
The Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS) is pleased to present a collection of work by photographer Edwin Torres. Shot between 2013 and 2016, the photographs depict the season when the city’s public realm feels most alive, when New Yorkers inevitably find themselves out in the streets alongside one another, in gatherings both planned and incidental. The artist, born and raised in the South Bronx himself, captures his neighborhood and borough with unmistakable ease, familiarity, and affection. Even in the depths of winter, Torres’ collection transports us to a city sidewalk where the sun is shining and the collective joy of friends, neighbors, and strangers alike fills the air.
These photographs are a product of my obsession with capturing the true energy, spirit, and character of the Bronx. Each image is a reflection of the fascination I feel for my hometown, the people who live and work there, photography itself, light, movement, history, and above all, the ways people are able to thrive and love despite economic hardship.
Street photography is one of the most challenging mediums, and the one that has brought me the greatest pleasure and growth as a photographer. There are so many factors you don’t control: whether your subject notices you and how he or she reacts, how you make sense of the chaos, the time of day? Is it raining? Is it sunny? Are you ready to pick up your camera? Did you miss the shot?
Little by little, you get better at predicting what might happen, but you can never see the future.
Inspired by photographs of the Bronx from the 1970s and 1980s, I shot many of these images on black and white film on a small 35mm Leica and developed them by hand in the darkroom.
About the Artist
Edwin J. Torres (b.1989) is an award-winning photographer. He graduated from Colby College with a degree in American Studies, which sparked his intellectual curiosity about history, current events, and the representation of cultures in a variety of media.
Currently, Torres serves as the Digital Director for the Governor’s Office in New Jersey. Prior, he served as a staff photographer for the New York City Mayor’s Office. Prior to his work in government, Torres was a freelance photojournalist. In 2016, Torres was the lead photographer and contributed reporting in a Pulitzer Prize-winning story with ProPublica and the New York Daily News. He also spent five years volunteering at the Bronx Documentary Center, a nonprofit that utilized documentary practice and education to explore vital issues, stimulate critical thought, and drive social change.
His work has been published in The New York Times, Vice, The Atlantic, the New York Daily News, The American Prospect, ProPublica, and several other outlets. Follow Edwin on instagram @edwintorresphoto