Water is like a canvas. You can put whatever you want onto its surface.

Over the years I found certain times where the Gowanus Canal became a mirror, reflections captured of different beauty along its banks.

Dykes Lumber has been a fixture on the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn, NY, and allowed the “Gowanus: Industry & Ecology,” by artists Julia Whitney Barnes and Ruth Hofheimer to be painted on the backside of the building at Sixth Street and the Fourth Street basin. The reflection of the mural, inspired by Mexico City's floating gardens, belies the Superfund status of the waterway.

All images are ©Mark D Phillips. Photos may be licensed and downloaded through our site.

Mark D Phillips' photographic collection documents his generational view of the Gowanus Canal from abandoned, industrial filth to the beginning of gentrification and the EPA's start to cleaning the Superfund site.

“I discovered the Gowanus Canal in 1989, an abandoned, desolate location in the heart of Brownstone Brooklyn. The more time I spent on its length, the more I came to love it,” said Phillips.

All images are ©Mark D Phillips. Photos may be licensed and downloaded through our site.