• DOWN BY THE HUDSON

    by Caleb Stein
  •      Wappinger Creek is a 41.7-mile-long creek that connects the waters of Thompson Pond to the mouth of the Hudson River in Dutchess County, New York. Carved by the creek’s path is a hidden Eden nestled in a small wooded area behind the Overlook Drive-In Theater on the outskirts of Poughkeepsie. Amongst the trees and muddy banks, residents congregate in and around this watering hole. Physical and social dissonance is forgone in this haven. The maple leaves rustle in the soft breeze, and rushed footsteps progress into a subsequent splash. Placid conversation fills the air, accompanying the slow trot of those wading in the water. 

  • Caleb Stein’s Down by the Hudson series is an ongoing ‘ode’ to the small town of Poughkeepsie, New York. Rendered...

    Caleb Stein’s Down by the Hudson series is an ongoing ‘ode’ to the small town of Poughkeepsie, New York. Rendered in black-and-white, his photographs provide an intimate glimpse into the lives of Poughkeepsie’s residents amidst the current backdrop of de-industrialization and political tension in the U.S. The watering hole serves as a neutral zone, a side-step from the day-today turbulence of life. It is a communal ground that provides a place of recreation and refuge. 

  • “The watering hole became a central component of the project because it represented an idyllic space where people from all walks of life came together and let their guard down. The more time I spent at the watering hole, the more I wanted to convey the struggles and beauties of this town with care and tenderness.”
    - Caleb Stein 

  • “The creek is flowing but time has stopped still. There is no burden of history here. You are with your friends, afloat in the water. It is not only your body — it appears even your breath is finally weightless.”
    - Amitava Kumar 

  • “Whilst Stein's images are contemporary portraits of a time, place and people, they are also those little snippets excavated from...

    “Whilst Stein's images are contemporary portraits of a time, place and people, they are also those little snippets excavated from the ether of time, sharing and communicating the fears and hopes; loves, lives and dreams of time immemorial. Stein takes us down by the Hudson, at a time when life is full of irresolution. There we seek absolution in solution; hope in history; peace and harmony that only The Watering Hole can provide. Stein’s powerful, achingly beautiful Down by the Hudson is a dip in the waters of serenity, community and solidarity. A dip we all so desperately need today.”

    - MATT CAREY-WILLIAMS

  • Caleb Stein (b. 1994, London) graduated from Vassar College in 2017 with a degree in history of art. His work explores the fragility of memory through an embrace of community and the dynamic, energetic interactions that occur within it. Questions surrounding mythology and narrative as they relate to the United States and the international influence it exerts sit at the core of much of Stein’s work, as he grapples with his relationship to the country that has become his adopted home. Stein’s work embraces the lyrical potential of photography; his work often contains a tension between the poetic and the emotionally confrontational. 

  • Press

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