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Check out 20 years of Coney Island’s Mermaid Parade in photos

By
Howard Halle
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Since 1996, New York photographer Luke Ratray has been heading down to Coney Island to shoot the annual Mermaid Parade—a start-of-the-summer tradition since the first one marched into history in 1983. Unlike a lot of shutterbugs who tend go for the panoramic scope of the festivities, Ratray focuses mainly on individual revelers, creating a intimate document though a series of portraits, each of which tells its own story. Ratray also uses black-and-white film instead of digital, which burnishes his images with a timeless patina. In honor of this year’s parade, the Urban Folk Art® Gallery at 101 Smith Street in Downtown Brooklyn is presenting Ratray’s photos in their first public exhibition. “Coney Island Mermaids, 1996-2016” will be on view June 24–July 22. For a preview, take a look at our gallery below: 

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Coney Island Mermaid Parade

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