Lauren Fleishman was born and raised in the Midwood section of Brooklyn. She attended the School of Visual Arts with a Vice Presidential Academic Scholarship. In 2000 she was awarded a full scholarship to study at the prestigious Ecole Superieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. In 2003, Lauren was named one of Photo District News’ 30 young photographers to watch. Lauren’s clients include The Fader, New York Times Magazine, Microsoft, Newsweek, Time, Marie Claire France, ESPN, ELLE and The Sunday Times. This year Lauren will be included in American Photography 23 and is an award recipient in the 2007 PDN Annual for her Time magazine work entitled Sixteen Candles.
‘In May of 2002, I was commissioned by The New York Times Magazine to go to Northern Indiana and document the life of a 22 year old factory worker. I was 23 and had never traveled within The United States. From someone growing up in a small apartment in a big city, Northern Indiana was very different from what I was used to.
There I met groups of young people, ages not so far from my own, living in a vast space of farmland and factory. The beauty of the area was often strikingly disrupted by the cold exterior of the many factories in town. Prefabricated housing was spread out in what could be perceived aa neighborhood with the same precision and planning in which they had been built. The consistency was a striking contrast to the nature that surrounded it.
I was always struck by these opposites.
On one hand there was incredible beauty in the light and the animals and land that, having grown up in Brooklyn, I had never seen. What was there naturally and what had been allowed to flourish and grow would always contrast with what had been built for maximum efficiency. There was also the way things seemed they should be, especially in a community so heavily based around religion and church. Nothing was exactly how it was intended. The influence of religion cast a striking contrast to the enormous amount of drug dependency, broken families and relationships. For years the people of Goshen have welcomed me into their homes and their community. I’ve used my camera to try to make sense of this place and my feelings about it. These images are from my trip in September of 2007’.