Robin Layton: hoop the american dream

Robin Layton

March 1 - April 18, 2015

Winston Wächter Fine Art, New York is pleased to announce its first solo exhibition with Seattle-based photographer Robin Layton. Layton is an award-winning photojournalist whose career has taken her across the country and into the lives of America’s richest and poorest citizens. She has photographed personalities such as Oprah Winfrey and Shaquille O’Neal, and has also focused her lens on runaway teens in the streets of downtown Seattle. Layton has been recognized for the grace and humanity that her photographs capture: the unexpected smiles and moments of pure tenderness that often pass too quickly to notice.

Her series, “hoop”, is a collection of photographs of basketball hoops from across America. Layton combined her experience in portraiture, sports, and street photography to create these stunningly composed images. Each hoop tells viewers a story its location, its wear and tear, its history, and the shadows and angle of the light passing through it– all these small details come together and give us a larger story about basketball in America.

To make the series, Layton took to the road, traveling across the country to 35 states with a friend, searching high and low for basketball hoops. She found hoops on barns, on trees, in fields, near lakes. She traveled to the childhood homes of LeBron James and Larry Bird to photograph their boyhood hoops, and to the White House to photograph the hoop President Obama regularly shoots. Layton took over 100,000 photographs, which she then narrowed down to 88 to be included for publication in her book “hoop the american dream.” This exhibition highlights those photos selected for publication. The power of the images comes from both their diversity and their relatable quality. The structure of each hoop is the same: a backboard, and a rim. Yet Layton’s careful eye reveals each one to be wholly unique– the hoops seem to vibrate in their individuality. And though viewers have likely never seen these specific basketball hoops from small towns across the country, there is also something instantly recognizable about them. Looking at Layton’s photographs, you can practically hear the distinct bounce of a basketball against a driveway or, bouncing off the side of an old wooden barn.

During her 25 years as a photojournalist, Robin Layton has produced countless notable photographs and earned a place among the world’s top photographers. By age 24, she was honored by LIFE magazine as one of the top eight most talented photographers in America. Among her numerous awards as a photojournalist, Layton is also a Pulitzer Prize nominee and Nikon Ambassador.