Vincent Cianni’s Documentary Photography

By: Melanie Rosato

Snoopy and Ace, Grand Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 1996

Meet Vincent Cianni, a photographer who; for an influential project, focused on skaters in the south side of Brooklyn in the 1990s. With extensive interviewing and interaction with these young skaters, Cianni was able to capture not only their style, environments, and activities, but also their distinctive attitudes.

Throughout this project, which spanned over 9 years, Cianni documented the group’s development in their lives, and their dedication to skating. They often were left with no choice but to build their own skate parks, some of them even going on to become professional in-line skaters. They became interested in skating to stay out of trouble and do something fun with their friends. A number of photographs in the series focus on memorials for young people in the area who died due to gang or drug-related violence.

While some skate parks came and went in the area, they were often demolished because of community conflicts and opposition. Cianni’s photographs depict a moment in time for these friends that was not only focused on their passion for skating, but their relationships with each other and their community.

Featured photo info: Jose and Elton on the Ramp, East River Pier, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 1995
Source: 1

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