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Stephen Lipuma, Common Grounds book

20 USD

"One by one, many of the working class quarters have been invaded by the middle class - upper and lower ... Once this process of 'gentrification' starts in a district it goes on rapidly until all or most of the working class occupiers are displaced and the whole social social character of the district is changed” - Ruth Glass 1964

Common Grounds

My memory of this unconscious project started in 2008, the year I became the night and weekend photographer for borough president Marty Markowitz. It was a great time for my career and after years of being a magazine producer it helped me regain a stronger relationship with my photography. Everyday I photographed a different section of Brooklyn and it was an opportunity to explore areas like Garrison Beach, Midwood, Sheepshead Bay, Mill Basin that all remained authentic. I fell in love and in a leap of faith I moved to Sheepshead Bay which became the best decision of my life. After living in every hipster nook and cranny since college, this seemed like the wild west. Here it was me, myself and my camera. Still with every passing year the authenticity of the Brooklyn neighborhood continues to vanish. It continues to be a tough pill to swallow. Documenting has always been my focus of interest and in Sheepshead Bay I felt alive. So I decided to capture this fleeting beauty that eventually became Common Grounds. 

- Stephen Lipuma


Common Grounds focuses on these areas. The everyday people, their day to day, the ordinary citizen that inhabits these surroundings. The same way people have before this great change. Whether it’s the old lady at the bus stop or the shop keeper at the 99 cent store. I find great beauty in the simple man and woman. Maybe it’s because they remind me of my own family and it brings me back home. Common Grounds is a reminder of what Brooklyn once was. These images were shot between 2010 - 2014. 

Court Tree Collective was established in 2013 by Amy Ng with the primary purpose of representing and supporting the work of emerging, mid-career, and established international contemporary artists. Their quaint 2nd floor gallery is conveniently located on Court Street in the historic Brooklyn neighborhood of Carroll Gardens. Since it's opening Court Tree Collective has has been a staple to south Brooklyn's emerging art scene and in a short time has exhibited a number of important exhibitions. In addition they have curated a number of exhibitions at satellite location throughout the states and abroad.

info@courttree.com