Faces of Downtown Scene

is an ongoing portrait project dedicated to New York’s experimental performance community. 


NYC Downtown community became famous in 70's for experimental theater and dance happenings that broke the boundaries of classical theater and came to the streets of New York. After being wiped out during 80's AIDS epidemic, Downtown of 2010-2019 is having it second peak, artists creating multidisciplinary works around the city again. While performances being largely photographed, people behind them not, until now. 


Over the past two years, while working as a photographer for off-off-Broadway theater and dance, Maria Baranova invited dancers, choreographers, actors, producers, playwrights, designers, and directors to her Gowanus studio for a portrait session and conversation. Using a medium format film camera, and in front of a signature black backdrop with only the natural light in her studio, Maria has captured over 200 subjects, including Ivy Baldwin, Yanira Castro, Meg Harper, Bobbi Jene Smith, and more, revealing the makers of this unique community of artists in New York.


For portrait commissions please email: info@mariabaranova.com


200+ portraits at www.facesofdowntownscene.com

Laurel Atwell / Interdisciplinary Artist / 2019
Li De / Dancer / August 2018
Katie Dean / Performer / June 2017
Meg Harper / Dancer / December 2017
Brandon Washington / Performer / March 2017
Oana Botez / Theatre Designer / October 2017
Emily Reilly / Dramaturg / December 2016
Leslie Cuyjet / Performer / Dancer / December 2017
Laurie Berg / Dance and Jewelry Artist / April 2018
Ivan V Talijančić / Director / October 2017
Ben Wagner / Performer / April 2017
Raja Feather Kelly / Artist / January 2018
Katie Brook / Director / 2019
Kaneza Schaal / Theater Artist / August 2018