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  5. 2009

321Go: Bike Polo Portraits

Bike polo has been around since the 1890s. Today it is played all over the world. In the early 2000s in Seattle, Modern Hardcourt Bike Polo was born. Played on asphalt courts and parking lots in cities throughout the country, it has become a sport embraced by bike messengers, bike-shop employees and assorted cycling enthusiasts who have transformed it from its prim beginnings to a rough-and-tumble sport. The exhibition features portraits by Cecily Upton, Brooklyn-based photographer who has worked for several years capturing the faces of bike polo players around the world.  Players from the United States, Canada, and Europe are depicted in the exhibition which is presented in conjunction with the Hardcourt Bike Polo World Championship coming to Philadelphia in early September. Upton began photographing the sport after being invited to watch one Sunday in New York City.  Intrigued by the aesthetics of the players and the equipment, Upton began frequenting the weekly games and was soon traveling to other cities to photograph the emerging sport.  The portraits are part of a larger series, which includes images submitted by the players themselves documenting the sport around the world.  Upton received her M.A. in Photography and Community Studies from New York University and her B.A. in Visual Art from Bowdoin College.  She lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.