While popular New York beaches fill up with activity on the weekends, the beaches of photographer Ward Roberts’ “Flotsam” series paint a different scenario. Taken between 2014 and 2017 in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, his photographs capture near-empty stretches of Far Rockaway. Pastel-tinged and set against clear, sunny blue skies, the softness of the images is juxtaposed by urban relics looming in the background — high-rises, cranes, construction — creating a sense of unease against the idyllic setting. The New York-based photographer is releasing the photographs in the form of a salmon-pink canvas photo book, out late this month and printed in a first edition of 850. While Berlin-based creative Kai von Rabenau penned an introduction to the book, the individual photos are presented without any text, adding to the evocative nature of the series.
Below, an excerpt from the book’s introduction by Kai von Rabenau:
Ward Roberts “Flotsam”
1. We all know this: Repeat a word or a phrase often enough, listen to it over and over in your head, and it will soon start losing its meaning, turning unfamiliar, comic even, and, eventually, downright surreal. Ward Roberts’ series Flotsam grows on you in a similar fashion.
2. At first sight,