Art Exhibit: Dogs Who Love A Great Dump: The Dogs of the Marbletown Transfer Station by Alex Kahana

Art Exhibit

Dogs Who Love A Great Dump: The Dogs of the Marbletown Transfer Station by Alex Kahana

The exhibit will go up on Monday, March 11 through Saturday April 27

Artist Statement

I started using a camera at thirteen which started my exploration of the world. My photographs are not planned or staged, but found. It’s instinctive. If something pulls at me, I’ll photograph it. There is something meditative when I am in the zone, a moment of being one with the universe. No thinking, just doing your thing, being aware of your body and surroundings, able to move around objects. It’s almost as good as sitting in meditation for more than an hour. I work for the Marbletown Transfer Station and always visit the dump on my days off. Last summer I thought it would be fun to photograph the dogs that people bring to the dump. So many of them have great back stories and are adopted from rescues. I would go to Center of Photography of Woodstock (a great resource- hi Sarah!), print a few photos and stick them on the door at work. People enjoyed seeing them, so I got a decent printer and made a mockup of a calendar and for fun, titled it “The Dogs that Love a Great Dump.” People loved it and here I am, exhibiting at the Stone Ridge Library.

Alex Kahana

Born in Brooklyn, Alex Kahana’s Jewish roots go back 16 generations to a well-known Jewish Rabbinical Family. Cousin Meir Kahane was the founder of the Jewish Defense League. Cousin Moshe Cahana organized a delegation of Rabbis and marched arm in arm with Martin Luther King from Selma to Montgomery. Another cousin, Rabbi Martin Freedman was one of the “Tallahassee Ten” who in 1961 rode with the Interfaith Freedom Riders to challenge segregation and was arrested while integrating a segregated restaurant. “For me, orthodox Judaism didn’t work, and while I have now found balance, breaking away while younger was extremely difficult. Thanks to the love of Howlin’ Wolf’s guitar player Hubert Sumlin and his wife Willie Bea, who said to call her mama, I started feeling comfortable with myself. Without their love and support I would not have made it. Because of my relationship with them I was able to photograph many blues musicians. Soon I will be digitizing those photos and putting them in book form. In my career I’ve worked in photo labs and started up a juice bar/cafe called Mama B’s, in Brooklyn but whether at a photo lab, my cafe or the Marbletown Transfer Station, my work is always about building community.

There will be a reception on Saturday, March 16 from 1-3 at the library. Light refreshments will be served and Alex will have his calendar available for purchase.