SWEET RUIN: THE BROOKLYN DOMINO SUGAR REFINERY
Once the largest sugar refinery in the world, Domino shut down in 2004 after a decades-long struggle. Most Brooklynites of my generation know it as an icon on the landscape, multiplied on t-shirts and skateboard graphics. Urban explorers sly enough to breach the gates have found a playground of sublime, post-industrial texture and nostalgia. But what was Domino? What stories were we missing?
In 2013, the owner of the site, Two Trees, generously agreed to let me in. I proposed an expansive—even messy—fusion of art, document, and industrial history. I wanted to show the ruin as its majestic self, and also as a lens through which to explore the history of the place and its people.
In a sense, I found myself looking at a long-gone version of the country, through a recently-gone industry and community, through a soon-to-be gone labyrinth of architecture and machines.
At the same time I found myself working in the abstract, seeing how much chaos I could allow into the frame, while still making a coherent picture. The visual density and confusion of the place invited this kind of formal experiment.
Brooklyn’s Sweet Ruin: Relics and Stories of the Domino Sugar Refinery was released by Schiffer Publishing October, 2017. Collaborators include Matthew Postal, an architectural historian who has researched the deep connections between Domino, the global sugar trade, and the history of Brooklyn; Stella Kramer, a Pulitzer-Prize-winning photo editor; Christopher Truch, a world-class art director; and a group of former refinery employees, who tell some of Domino’s more personal stories.
Images are printed in archival pigment ink on heavyweight European baryta-coated paper, with a rich, soft-gloss finish. They are very high-resolution and have an incredible presence in the large sizes. Some images are intended just for the book and will not be printed. Download current catalog of available prints.
Open edition prints:
17 x 25 inches: $990
Large prints in editions of 10:
27 x 40 inches: $3300
40 x 60 inches: $4200
Prices will increase as each edition sells out.
Image area is about 16 x 24, 25 x 38, 38 x 57, and varies slightly with some images.
There is a 1″ white border on all sides of the large prints; a 1/2″ border on all sides of the 17×25 prints.
If you are in the NYC area, I can arrange mounting and framing.
Please write with your proposal, including as many details as possible.