I G O T S O M E T H I N ' T O S H O W Y O U
Lens Culture Exposure Award Finalist Aint Bad Magazine Top 100 Photography Series
In the shadow of 200 ft high grain elevators, sits a neighborhood known as The Old First Ward. The buildings and people share a similar defiant look, worn down but stand unflinching as if to state, “I’m not goin’ anywhere.” The neighborhoods wealth is more than architectural backdrop. Their acumen is the ability to find treasure in a crevice, luck in spite of misfortune. This project is the unexplored ethos of an often mischaracterized demographic. The portraits of faces unguarded, buildings in perpetual inertia express my veneration for this urban hamlet.
During visits to the neighborhood I often heard the same phrase, “I got somethin’ to show you.” It was as if my interest in them was not enough, they had something more worthy to share. I kept being pulled back to this neighborhood, like an outsider wanting to be accepted into an exclusive club. After each encounter, I was aware that I liked who I was when I am with them, I am my best self. So I kept going back bringing copies of photos from the last visit to share, and found myself saying, “I got somethin’ to show you”.
Above is video link to artist interview before opening at the Buffalo History Museum.
For the installation, I chose to symbolize my experience walking and photographing the neighborhood, by “framing” some of the photographs using galvanized metal gates. The gates are a familiar element designating the small plots of space. Gates can be an opening or a boundary into someones life and they symbolize the experience I have felt as I navigate the Ward. Viewing the images in this manner brings context to the industrial Old First Ward. This show is available for traveling exhibitions.