Matt Nighswander

Matt lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., and spends a lot of time in his native New Hampshire. He completed an M.F.A at Columbia College Chicago where he also spent a lot of time watching planes land. He’s been photographing at Planeview Park since 2008. His series ‘Chicagoland’ was exhibited in 2010 at the Pictura Gallery in Bloomington, Indiana, and later that year his series ‘Waiting for the Jets’ was the Grand Prize Winner in PDN’s Photobook NYC. His “Dark Country Road” series was featured in a solo exhibition at the Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, Colo., in Feb. 2015.  Today we feature his series, Waiting for the Jets.

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Waiting for the Jets: Planeview Park, Queens

“Everyone agrees, airliners look different in the sky these days, predatory or doomed.” -From Ian McEwan’s ‘Saturday’

Planeview Park is a rather scruffy, little park that lies under the flight path of one of La Guardia Airport’s runways. Not more than an acre and bordered by chain link fence and a highway, it would hardly deserve notice if it weren’t for the planes that appear overhead when the runway is in use. Seeing a low-flying plane is bound to produce conflicting associations & emotions. These enormous objects can possess an otherworldly grace as they seem to float in the sky, but they can also trigger an instinctual fear as so much hardened steel shoots past. I hope to capture some of this complicated response in my photographs.

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To view more of Matt’s work, please visit his website