Faces of Downtown Scene

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

NYC Downtown community became famous in the '70s 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 the 80's AIDS epidemic, Downtown of 2010-2019 is having its second peak, artists creating multidisciplinary works around the city again. While performances being largely photographed, people behind them not, until now.

Since November 2016, while working as a photographer for off-off-Broadway theater and dance, Maria Baranova invited dancers, choreographers, actors, producers, playwrights, designers, and directors for a portrait session and conversation, first to her Gowanus studio and in 2020, the project continued in Invisible Dog Art Center. Using a medium format film camera, and in front of a signature black backdrop with only the natural light, Maria has captured over 250 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. 

This project has been exhibited at The Invisible Dog Art Center in January 2019.

For portrait commissions please email: info@mariabaranova.com

200+ portraits at www.facesofdowntownscene.com


BOMB Magazine, 2019

The Dance Enthusiast, 2018

Tuce Yasak / Lighting Designer / December 2020
Shantell Martin / Artist / May 2017
Hadar Ahuvia / Performer, Choreographer, Jewish Educator, and Ritual Leader / February 2022
Leslie Cuyjet / Dance Artist / October 2020 / Invisible Dog
Nola Sporn Smith / Performer / Collaborator / October 2020 / Invisible Dog
Yara Travieso / Director / Choreographer / October 2020 / Invisible Dog
Belinda Adam / Dancer / Choreographer / October 2020 / Invisible Dog
Laurel Atwell / Interdisciplinary Artist / 2019