Purple Martin Press

The Purple Martin Press, LLC was founded by Peter Kayafas in 2007 to publish photography books.

Coney Island Waterdance Photographs by
Peter Kayafas
Purple Martin Press, 2021
New York
9 x 9.5 inches, Hardcover
48 pages, duotone photographs
ISBN: 978-0-97977-684-7
View photographs
from the book at

The Purple Martin Press is pleased to announce the publication of Peter Kayafas: Coney Island Waterdance, a collection of 30 photographs of people swimming in the ocean at Coney Island.

The photographs, made during many summers, and one particular winter (when Kayafas was a member of the Polar Bear Club), are filled with energy, movement, grace, and a surprising intimacy. For more than a century Coney Island has been a subject of fascination for artists. Kayafas’s focus on the swimmers over a period of two decades, provides an extended insight into the elemental relationship people have with water.

Excerpt from Peter Kayafas’s afterword:

The activity of being in the water, whether it is breathtakingly cold or welcome relief from summer heat, is both a distraction (good cover for a photographer) and a disinhibition, the combination of which makes for remarkably immediate, energized, and even intimate portraits. I kept my camera hidden underwater while I roamed through the crowds of people splashing, wrestling, or embracing; then, at the last moment, I pulled the camera up to my eye to make the photograph. These images are, for me, like passages from some primal, beautiful ballet — the energy, gesture, and emotion of the narrative rising and falling with the subjects on the waves.

Please send a check payable to Purple Martin Press
for $25.00 and $5.00 for shipping and handling to:

Peter Kayafas
Purple Martin Press
PO Box 525
New York, NY 10026