Lauren Silberman has been photographing communities and subcultures in New York City, its outer boroughs, and across the United States for nearly two decades. While technically “documentary,” her work is full of narrative and metaphor, and often is more enigmatic than the straightforward reportage one might expect. I recently had the opportunity to dig into her work when selecting her as a finalist for the juried exhibition American Splendour at New York City’s Iloni Art Gallery this past summer.
Her latest series, The Opposite of Salt is Water, which opens this Friday at Calico Brooklyn in Brooklyn, NY pushes this further, with a new sense of magical ambiguity. Photographing in Amboy, an unincorporated community in San Bernardino County, in California's Mojave Desert, Silberman uses images from the region to represent symbols of ideology and mythology associated with the evolution of the American dream.
In advance of her new exhibition, I emailed Silberman to learn more about her work.
Jon Feinstein in conversation with Lauren Silberman