Queens captured in photography
by Alexa Renfroe
Jul 17, 2013 | 15385 views | 1 1 comments | 332 332 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Michelle Cheikin
Michelle Cheikin
Elmhurst in 2005
Elmhurst in 2005
“Queens Surface” is a series of 40 photographs that capture the details of Queens life and the light and shapes of the borough by one of its residents.

Flushing Library will host an exhibition of the work of Michelle Cheikin from August 9-28. An opening reception will be held on August 10 from 4 to 6 p.m., and Cheikin will be there to discuss her work and answer questions from the audience.

She will also tell stories about the neighborhoods that are depicted in the pictures.

“All the photos work together as a kaleidoscope of imagery,” she said. “I was inspired by the light, different shapes and architecture.”

Cheikin started the project ten years ago, when she moved to Queens. She photographed the many neighborhoods she lived in over the years.

“As I moved, I got to explore different neighborhoods,” she explained.

Many of Cheikin's subjects are no longer there, or as they were. Some of the images capture a Queens before portions of it was renovated and reinvented.

“It was a good moment to document and preserve,” Cheikin said. “My photos capture more abstraction.”

Some of Cheikin’s work has been shown in the Queens Museum of Art and the Bronx Museum of Art, as well as other galleries around the country. She also teaches Digital Photography and Media Design at Hostos Community College in the Bronx.

Cheikin might return to photographing Queens in the future, but for now the project is finished.

“It feels like closure,” she said.

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Nancy Gesimondo
July 30, 2013
Michelle's keen eye brings our attention to the quiet inner reflections that exist within the vast expanse of this bustling and diverse boro. A kind of love letter to a place she has called home, as these images celebrate the humanity of the shrinking middle class and the disenfranchised. She documents a changing landscape as a remembrance of a past not to be forgotten.