Robert Bergman's New Kind of Rapture

P.S. 1 hosts a coming-out party for a 65-year-old photographer

Bergman has waited a long time for his work to be seen by the public; he identifies with a character in Toni Morrison's Jazz, who says, "Being chosen to wait is the reason I can." Yet he doggedly pursued his art all along. Once, while taking pictures in the Bronx, he met an eccentric barefooted man (wizardly staff, ring-covered fingers) discoursing on the Greek root of the word "image." When Bergman explained that he was from Minnesota, the man replied, "You come all this way just to find yourself."

"He was right, of course," Bergman says. "But I came to find him, too."

Uncomfortably intimate: An untitled 2009 portrait
Courtesy of Robert Bergman
Uncomfortably intimate: An untitled 2009 portrait

"Robert Bergman: Selected Portraits," through January 10, P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, 22-25 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City, 718-784-2084

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