This collection of 30 photographs by American photographer Peter Kayafas (born 1971) depicts people swimming in the ocean at Coney Island, a location that has long served as a source of inspiration and fascination for artists. Made over the course of many summers and one particular winter during which Kayafas was a member of Coney Island’s legendary Polar Bear Club (the oldest winter bathing club in the United States) in the 1990s and 2000s, the photographs are filled with energy, movement, grace and a surprising intimacy.
Using a waterproof camera, hidden just below the ocean’s surface, Kayafas captures candid snapshots of unsuspecting beachgoers. His focus on the swimmers over a period of two decades provides an extended insight into the elemental relationship humans have with water.
Coney Island Waterdance
Publisher: Purple Martin Press (2021)
Hardcover: 48 pages