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Lives To Photograph
Sid Kerner’s exhibit at Queens College

New York City photographer Sid Kerner’s works are currently being featured in the exhibition “Face to Face: From See to Shining See,” which is on display at the Queens College Arts Center.
When Kerner, a native of Brooklyn, was 17 in 1937, he became a member of the Photo League, which began his career as a photographer.
“[My] impulse was to create images - what came later was a desire to combine my love of photography with a need to say something about life around me,” Kerner said.
Part of Kerner’s career as a photographer was spent in Okinawa during World War II as a member of the 28th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron. He also worked as a cameraman and television lighting director, while still taking photographs during his free time.
Kerner’s photography focuses on everyday things in life that he sees while walking the city streets.
“I’ve been photographing faces that don’t reflect the times in which they exist, but are part of the present physical environment,” Kerner said. “Walker Evans once remarked that the street is ‘his museum.’ It’s not only my museum, but also the place I visit to discover and create my faces. They exist in the streets, but only come to life when I put a ‘frame’ around them. For me, the excitement always starts in the street - and sometimes underfoot.”
Previously, about 17 years ago, Kerner’s works were displayed at the Queens College Arts Center through the exhibition “Sidney Kerner: New York City Photographs, 1937-1990.” His works can be seen at many other institutions, including the New York Public Library, Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York Historical Society, the Museum of the City of New York, the Archives of the Museum of Modern Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. Along with being in private collections, Kerner’s photographs are in galleries in Ottawa, Paris and Portugal.
“As I live I photograph, and as I photograph, I live,” Kerner said.
Kerner’s current exhibition at the Queens College Arts Center, “Face to Face: From See to Shining See,” will be on display through Wednesday, October 31. It features more than 40 photographs from Kerner. Some show actual people, whereas others are of every day items that Kerner found faces in.
Dr. Suzanna B. Simor, of the Director of the Queens College Arts Center, said that Kerner’s photography shows his interest in people and humanity and described it as “pure art.”
“I think it’s just so powerful,” Simor said.
The center is located on the sixth floor of the Benjamin S. Rosenthal Library, which is located on the campus at 65-30 Kissena Boulevard in Flushing.
The gallery hours are Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It will be closed on Columbus Day and open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on September 13 and 18.
For more information, visit www.qc.cuny.edu/Library/art/artcenter.html or call 718-997-3770.

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