Portrait Of A Gallery

In Spotlight

His photos have appeared in Esquire and the former Newsweek, Condé Nast Traveler and Departures. His blog is studded with pictures of visits to Ibiza and Southampton, but Wyatt Gallery, an actual human being and not a place where art is shown, is these days focused on something with a distinctly lower- key flavor: a quiet, haunting series of images documenting the Jewish experience in the Caribbean, from tiny, sand-floored synagogues in St. Thomas, USVI, to perfectly-preserved 18th century gravestones in a shaded jungle far upriver in Suriname.

Wyatt Gallery considers the West Indies his second home. The fascination with the region began on a trip with friends to Costa Rica in 1996, while a student at New York University (NYU). Trading a job as a photo editor at Entertainment Weekly for some time on the beach, Gallery found himself on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica where he was amazed by the Jamaican influence, one that he had come to know from living in New York. After living on the beach for two months with a group of hybrid Jamaican-Costa Ricans surfers, Gallery took his first photos of religious sites.

Back at NYU, he won a prestigious grant to pursue a photo project that involved travel. Intrigued by what he had heard of carnival in Trinidad, Gallery decided to head South and beyond the obvious delights of ‘mas’, he fell in love with the island, its mix of Hindu temples, Catholic churches and mosques. A year later, in 1999, he was back on the island a Fulbright scholarship in hand, which funded photography of religious places there. “It felt like home,” he said.

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