Nobody really expected Hurricane Sandy to do much damage to NYC, but it ended up being one of the most costliest hurricanes in US history (second only to Hurricane Katrina). The reality is that it caused a lot of destruction and upset many lives.
Artist and Rockaway, Queens resident Lillian Gerson witnessed the storm from their apartment on the beach. As day turned to night and the storm intensified, Gerson witnessed the sea levels rise, washing away parked vehicles and the beach boardwalk, and damaging homes. When the sun came up and the storm was over, Gerson and other Rockaway residents emerged from their homes to find their neighborhood ruined. Public transportation was out of order. Food was scarce. (Gerson helped make soups in their kitchen and delivered it by bike to others in need around the peninsula.) Electricity was out for months. But somehow the community strengthened and came together in light of their situation.
Rock Jetty Deli & Food Corp. is Gerson's latest installation, on view at A.I.R. Gallery, the first artists-run gallery for women in the US. Rock Jetty Deli is a deli storefront installation that conveys life after the storm, showing the condition of the Rockaways and how it bonded a community shocked by natural disaster.
Gerson constructed Rock Jetty Deli using scavenged materials and other handmade objects. In Gerson's typical playful fasion, cardboard is used to create pieces like a gas tank and generators to bring light to a seemingly dark situation: