Benny Safdie: For All the Squares
980 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10075, USA
February 23, 2023 - April 01, 2023
NEW YORK CITY | New York Upper East Side’s Yoshii Gallery has devoted its pristine gallery to an independent filmmaker. The show is called “For All the Squares,” the first major comprehensive exhibition of photographs by independent filmmaker Benny Safdie.
Safdie began taking photographs at an early age, but everything changed in 2002 when his high school photography teacher lent him one of the school’s Yashica twin lens reflex cameras. After observing Safdie’s photographs, his teacher introduced the square format to Safdie and asked him to take photographs of an old Rolls Royce parked outside in the snow.
He used the Yashica camera for the next 2 years of school before switching to a Rolleiflex 2.8 FX. The square changed everything, how do you upend its constraints? How do you see the world without a mirror? Safdie pushes the square to its limits, exploring new ways to use this tool to imbed himself in the world, finding solitude and comfort in that backwards ground glass.
By using a fixed lens camera with no option to zoom, the photographs reflects Safdie’s own perspectives when the shutter was released, drawing the viewers into the photographer’s reality as he explores the nooks and crannies of the streets.
Who is Benny Safdie?
Benny Safdie was born in 1986 and raised in both Queens and Manhattan in New York. Together with his brother Joshua, he produces and writes films that premiered at renowned international film festivals including Cannes, Venice, New York Film Festival and Sundance, and exhibited at the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
His films include the upcoming Good Time (2017), Heaven Knows What (2014), Lenny Cooke (2013), and Daddy Longlegs (2010). Throughout his film career, Safdie has used photography as a counterweight to the film world, working in solitude and, to a certain extent, in secrecy.
Photography is a tranquil world he can enter into when not in the madness of production. His photographs were exhibited at Fort Gansevoort Gallery, New York “Pieces of Advice x From a Pedestrian Point of View” (2015) and Spectra: National Photography Triennial (2007), New Canaan. Safdie also co-founded Mmuseumm with Joshua Safdie and Alex Kalman, a modern natural history museum situated in an elevator shaft in the Lower East Side of New York City that showcases contemporary artifacts.
For further inquiries, please contact Yoshii Gallery at email@example.com or at 212-744-5550.