In short

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PHOTO OF THE DAY
Steve Schapiro, Martin Luther King Jr. (with Flag), Selma March, 1965 © Steve Schapiro & Fahey/Klein Gallery
Steve Schapiro, Martin Luther King Jr. (with Flag), Selma March, 1965 © Steve Schapiro & Fahey/Klein Gallery

These photographs were made between 1979 and 1986 when I was a young photographer living in Boston. In that pre-digital and less paranoid era, families – and especially children and teenagers – used to hang out in their neighborhoods. A kind of theater of the streets emerged from the boredom of hot summer days and it was a great time to photograph people outside. Undoubtedly my own childhood afternoons, often spent in my neighbor’s basement creating theatrical productions with the four kids who lived there, helped to form my vision of the play of children as a kind of rite or performance. That our audience was comprised of our dogs never discouraged us.

Over the seven years I made these pictures, I grew familiar with Boston’s many working class and ethnic neighborhoods and became visually addicted to the triple deckers, porches, vacant lots, clothes lines, and tree stumps that created striking stage-sets for the complex portraits I seemed compelled to make. On the hottest days, I headed to beach towns, and each summer I took a road trip: one through small town Pennsylvania via dilapidated Newburgh, New York, another to mining areas in rural West Virginia, and once to Mormon enclaves in Utah and Idaho. During long Boston winters, I would head south for a week or two: to the citrus-producing regions of inland Florida, or through the Florida panhandle to New Orleans and Cajun country. In these pre-GPS wanderings, I looked forward to the adventure of getting lost and discovering the unexpected. Propelled into unfamiliar terrain through photography, it was my privilege to meet a remarkable array of people. I am grateful to all the strangers I photographed during these years – people who were trusting and open to collaboration with me (in an intuitive, often unspoken way) to create something vivid and, in some sense, true.

Sage Sohier

Sage Sohier, Americans seen
April 15 – May 31, 2017
Joseph Bellows Gallery
7661 Girard Ave
La Jolla, CA 92037
USA

http://www.josephbellows.com/