"Diver in Icy Water" 30"x45" photograph - edition of 5 (unframed)
This photograph is featured in our current exhibition at the gallery and is available as 2/5 unframed, or framed and mounted for $5150.
On the tenth anniversary of the famous “Miracle on the Hudson” landing by “Sully” Sullenberger, Front Room Gallery will feature a selection of Stephen Mallon’s photographs of the airplane Flight 1549 from his series “Brace for Impact.” Front Room will also feature works from Mallon’s well-known series “Next Stop Atlantic,” which follows the reefing of NYC subway cars as they are brought from the Bronx to offshore locations as far south as Georgia and eventually dropped into the ocean to become artificial reefs. Additionally, “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” will also feature dramatic new works by Mallon of cars in an industrial scrapyard in the Midwest as they go to their final destination, that great parking lot in the sky.
We all remember that bitterly cold day in January 2009 when a flock of Canadian geese intersected the flight path of an Airbus A320 leaving La Guardia Airport and forced the most successful (and famous) plane “ditching” in history. It wasn’t just a “miracle”: it was a phenomenon. Four months earlier the economy itself had crashed, and the housing market was in a tailspin; it seemed like the world was coming to an end. Sullenberger was the hero we all needed: he saved 155 souls, right there in the Hudson river, with the world watching live. The story went on to become the subject of movies, books, and interviews on talk shows on all networks. Stephen Mallon’s photographs capture another side of this story, what happened afterward. In Mallon’s epic photograph “Wing,” the plane’s fuselage is completely submerged, save for a lone wing jutting out of the ice-covered water just piercing the horizon line, which is lined with the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the Colgate clock and industrial smoke from New Jersey. It is a scene that is so apocalyptic feeling that it would be right at home in “The Planet of the Apes.” In another photo a diver emerges from beneath boulder-sized sheets of ice beside the sunken plane wearing a heated wetsuit that seems more appropriate for outer space than the Hudson river. As the tenth anniversary of the event rolls around, these photographs remain gripping, and demand another look.
Mallon has gained equal amounts of acclaim for his series “Next Stop Atlantic,” featuring decommissioned NYC Subway cars as they are retired in the depths of the Atlantic Ocean as artificial reefs. Mallon’s photographs elicit both the sadness and the beauty of cascading water overtaking these iconic figures of New York transit as they sink beneath the surface of the water; surges and sprays are caught in time. One photograph hauntingly depicts elements of nature creeping into their barren hulls: drifts of snow line the walkways, and a glimpse of sunshine streams through their removed doors as they wait in stacks to be carted off to sink to the dark depths of the ocean floor.
In addition to these much-lauded series, the exhibition will also introduce some never-before-seen photographs that Mallon has taken in industrial scrap yards in the Midwest. These works follow the scrapping, the melting-down, and the remaking of defunct automobiles into new automobiles. In one photo massive twisted mountains of metal shimmer, as a claw-like device lifts a barely recognizable sedan over an ominous smoldering landscape.Mallon’s work can be frightening, showing huge crashing, splashing, smashing hunks of metal flying through air. His work is about the environment, and, as terrifying as it can be, his photographs always look for positive aspects of the way that humans interact with the environment through recycling.
Mallon’s work has been exhibited in museums and galleries internationally, and his work has been written about in many publications, including National Geographic, The New Yorker, New York Times, Vanity Fair, Wired, Stern, PetaPixel, Viral Forest, BuzzFeed, New York Magazine, The Huffington Post, and featured on CNN, CBS, MSNBC and NPR.
Please inquire about additional editions and availability This iconic photograph is from the artist's series: "Brace For Impact: the aftermath of flight 1549." Depicting a diver attaching a cord to pull the semi-submerged aircraft from the icy waters of the Hudson River. It is very difficult to encapsulate the events that happened during and following the crash of flight 1549, but Stephen Mallon's large-scale photographs, taken during the salvage of the fuselage and engine, impart a physicality and scale to these incomprehensible occurrences. Mallon's photos present us with the aftermath of this disaster and remind us how it was averted despite nearly unbeatable odds through the mastery and bravery of the pilot and crew.
Never before has a commercial aircraft crashed in the Hudson with the complete survival of all passengers and crew. Rescuers included crews of the Circle Line tour boats, Army Engineers boats, and a Staten Island ferry support vessel, as well as the boats from New York Waterway. Men, women and children waited their turns patiently standing on the wings of the plane, half-submerged in the icy water on what felt like the coldest day of the year. This feat is a testament to the bravery of the crew, passengers and rescuers.
As the fuselage and engine of the aircraft were later brought up intact by a gigantic crane and a team of divers in heated wetsuits, Stephen Mallon captured the moment standing on the deck of the crane-barge. In Mallon's uncanny photographs the plane sometimes appears to be a metaphorical wounded animal, like a whale lifted completely out of the water. It is damaged, beat up and missing one of its engines, but it nevertheless survives. The divers, in their heated wetsuits with huge face-gear, seem like astronauts floating through an icy void in space. And, we finally get a glimpse of the famous engine disabled by some unfortunate Canadian geese in a stunning pseudo-portrait by Stephen Mallon as it is lifted from some eighty feet of icy water.
"On Jan. 15, 2009, a few Canadian geese with bad timing became snarge, a steely pilot became a hero, and the world became fascinated with images of a jet splashing into the Hudson River and then floating calmly as passengers crowded its wings.
But until now, few people have seen the equally surprising pictures of the second half of this story: when a salvage team used the biggest floating crane on the East Coast to pluck the ill-fated Airbus A320 from the frigid water." -Matthew Shechmeister, Wired Magazine