Our Documenting Sandy exhibition is up in our 3rd floor gallery, featuring photographs by professionals and amateurs during the devastating aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. This is the second installment of our photographer highlight series. In it, we tell you more about the photographers who contributed to the exhibition.
Nick Lakiotes is a graphic designer who lives in Gerritsen Beach, Brooklyn with his wife, 6-year old daughter, and infant soon. Nick’s story of his Hurricane Sandy experience is vivid, and scary. Nick and his family didn’t think their residence would sustain much damage or that they would be in danger because they were located in Zone B and because of their uneventful experience during Hurricane Irene. However, when a family member asked Nick to check on a relative nearby, he encountered flooding on the street.
Then, the surge hit. With Nick and his wife each carrying a kid, they evacuated their house. Water flew through the door the moment they opened it and they found themselves in waist-high water. Nick compared it to an amusement ride at Universal Studios that simulates a flood while participants are splashed with water and water flows beneath their feet in a tram. The difference here was that real water was up to their waists, that real objects were being carried by flood water right toward them, and that Nick’s children were screaming in real terror.
Nick and his family were lucky to have a family member nearby and a truck that could carry them through the flood waters. Once all were safe, Nick went back out again to help his neighbors. In the weeks and months that followed, Nick returned to his flooded home but could salvage very little. With feelings of despair and humor, he cleaned out his home and photographed it with the commentary he was feeling about his experience.
Nick’s photographs depict not only the destruction of this storm, but also one of the ways we cope: with language and humor and sharing. Nick’s photographs are simultaneously sad and refreshing – an indication that those who suffer will get through it.
Our call for submissions for Superstorm Sandy materials remains active. We are not only collecting photographs, but artifacts, ephemera, and other documentation of this storm and its effect on the residents of Brooklyn. You can email our Collection Staff to discuss further.