A special one-day benefit exhibition of photographs by Luca Babini will be on view at the Serge Sorokko Gallery in San Francisco on Thursday, November 29th, 10:00 am to 5:00 p.m.
The color images are a compelling record of the makeshift memorials to the victims of the World Trade Center tragedy that have sprung up on the streets of New York since September 11th.
Babini is a renowned filmmaker and fashion photographer who lives in downtown Manhattan, where he moved from Italy in 1987. All proceeds from the sale of fifteen limited-edition, signed and numbered prints in the exhibition will benefit the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund™. The images are haunting. A jagged yellow paper heart bears a message that begins "O, help me soothe my burning, broken heart." A flyer with a smiling young man and his son begs, "Please find my daddy." A teddy bear salutes the flight attendants' bravery.
"Immediately after September 11th, the walls and the ground started coming alive with memorials," recalls Babini. "Candles, objects, flyers were everywhere. They were rained on, the wind moved them, yet they were restarted and rebuilt. There was something cathartic and healing about seeing these shrines. There was a kinship of pain, of brotherhood."
For Babini, who avoided looking up at the beloved New York skyline after the attack, the street shrines provided a new focus, albeit a painful one.
Viewers have responded intensely to the poignant images and are deeply touched by their mournful beauty.
Fashion designer Donna Karan, who was with Babini on September 11th and watched him immediately hop on his motorcycle to help those on the scene, is a sponsor of the traveling exhibition. "Luca is a man of passion," says Karan, "whether it's expressing himself through his art or his need to help others, as he did that fateful morning. As a photographer, Luca uses his eye to eloquently capture the moment and share it with others. You can't help but be inspired when you look at these photos."