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.


For portrait commissions please email: info@mariabaranova.com


200+ portraits at www.facesofdowntownscene.com

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
Li De / Dancer / August 2018
Shantell Martin / Artist / May 2017
Meg Harper / Dancer / December 2017
Brandon Washington / Performer / March 2017
Oana Botez / Theatre Designer / October 2017
Emily Reilly / Dramaturg / December 2016
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