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Abby Robinson

born in Connecticut, USA, currently based in New York, USA

HB IV Lower East Side Artist

My photos have been shown in the US, Europe and Asia; Body Imaging has been installed/
performed in NYC at HomeBase IV, at Photoville in Brooklyn, NY, Shanghai’s Yongkang Lu Art Center, the Cosmopolitan Hotel’s P3 Studio in Las Vegas (Art Production Fund-sponsored) and Budapest’s Central European University. 
I’ve received Fulbright, Siskind, NYFA, Asian Cultural Council and the American Institute of Sri Lankan Studies grants and Yaddo, MacDowell, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Light Works, Altos de Chavon (Dominican Republic) and Three Shadows (Beijing) fellowships. I’ve written for Asian Art News, PDNedu, and the Trans Asia Photography Review plus published a novel, The Dick and Jane, based on my work with a private investigator.  Photos have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Photo District News, and Dear Dave; prints are in the collections of the Whitney (NYC), the Museum of Fine Arts (Houston, TX), the Portland Art Museum (Portland, OR), and the Benton Museum of Art (Storrs, CT).
I live and work in NYC and teach at the School of Visual Arts in the Photography and the Graphic Design departments.

​Description of work created at HB IV Lower East Side
Because HomeBase IV was located in an abandoned health clinic, it made me think about the how only doctors and photographers can look at people from an up-close-and-personal distance only allowed for lovers. Both “examine” people but aren’t seen as invasive or threatening.  Morphing the medical with the photographic provides context for unique body-related investigations and intimate picture making. The setup is suitable for all ages and tweaked for cultural appropriateness.

The piece’s waiting room = a place to meet people, fostering a sense of community.  Most important: the installation is a safe place where participants deal with notions of identity, memory and personal history in a nonjudgmental, serious yet lighthearted way.  Or they can have a photo taken for fun. All enjoy the very personal attention and collaborative process; they decide what they want shot and share in the selecting/editing of the final image. 

Photos are made immediately and patients/participants take their prints home in VIP badges as a free memento.  That way their participation is acknowledged and they’re thanked for their help on the project.  They’re given a second badge with their picture to hang wherever they wish on the waiting room walls; figuring out where to place the image is entertaining and many get quite creative about it.  This is also a way that their contribution becomes an integral and ongoing part of the installation and it affords them the opportunity to return to see their photos and/or show their friends. Repeat visits are encouraged and patients/participants can undergo treatment as often as needed or desired.

And no, I don’t take insurance.