The D.C. I See - Art of a Vanishing City
Photographs by Carolyn Toye
D.C. native photographer Carolyn Toye captures images of her vanishing hometown in a photobook. In 2004, Carolyn became interested in photography and embarked on a personal journey to photograph her hometown. For several years, she quietly pursued her passion, photographing the architecture and cityscapes she saw on the D.C. streets she traveled each day. Around 2011, while driving down Florida Avenue, in N.E., near the “old” D.C. Farmers Market, her years-long journey was thrown off course when she encountered a developer’s billboard promising to render part of the historic D.C. neighborhood unrecognizable in words that read: “Pretty soon, you won’t recognize the place. Promise.” It was, then, that she decided to publish images of the city—many of which had already begun to vanish from the D.C. landscape, as a result of the city’s sweeping gentrification and redevelopment. The D.C. I See—Art of a Vanishing City is a retrospective of her decade and a half-long journey photographing, mostly, D.C. architecture, from 2005 to 2018. The photobook includes fifty-two, color images. Conspicuously absent from her work are the usual images of the city’s iconic national monuments and memorials. Rather, her images of D.C.’s urban landscape offer the viewer a glimpse into the city’s classic architecture and “local” landmarks and, by extension, into the lives of the Washingtonians who, have lived, worked, played, and prayed within its walls.
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