Ballston Beach, Truro by Joel Meyerowitz (1976-77)

The photograph titled “Ballston Beach, Truro” is a work by artist Joel Meyerowitz created in the years 1976-77. It captures a scene on a sunny beach, where life is unfolding under a clear blue sky. In the center, a lifeguard sits perched high on a white wooden chair draped with a red cross flag, symbolizing his duty to watch over the swimmers. The lifeguard’s attention is directed towards the ocean, implying vigilance over the safety of beachgoers.

The beach is relatively busy, with people engaged in various activities: sunbathing, walking, and playing. In the foreground, a group is settled on the sand, with one person in a bright orange shirt sitting on a surfboard, suggesting a surfing context or a pause after riding the waves. Towels, beach bags, and other seaside paraphernalia are scattered around, adding to the relaxed, leisurely atmosphere typical of a beach day. To the sides, we see people entering and exiting the frame, giving the image a sense of movement and life beyond its borders.

The color palette is rich with the bright colors of summer—blues, yellows, and reds stand out vibrantly. Meyerowitz’s composition captures a slice of summer life, with the lifeguard’s chair serving as a focal point and symbol of safety amidst the casual chaos of beach activities. The photograph holds both a sense of immediacy and timelessness, evoking the universal experience of a day at the beach.

Other Photographs from Joel Meyerowitz

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