In my new on-going series "Down These Mean Streets" I examine fear and the abandonment of America's inner cities. Photographing only at night with a large format view camera, I work in a set routine by walking from the airport to the central business district of each city I photograph. My focus is the parts of the city you don’t want to be in at night; the part of town you drive through - not to - with your windows rolled up and doors locked. The guts and history of the American city lie between the airport and city center as a portrait of the modern day American inner city has gone missing. America has turned its back on cities through years of abandonment and neglect allowing neighborhoods to crumble with no local economy, a public education system that barely meets requirements, a low income housing disaster, few options for proper nutrition and health care. Violence and drugs reign, and there seems to be little or no way out as survival becomes a number one priority.
Fueled by America's preoccupation with homeland security and protecting our country from foreign forces that we have lost sight of what it is we are for fighting for. We have forgotten our own cities, neighborhoods and streets. By addressing the overwhelming loss and despair that prevail in our urban communities my aim is to reveal an intimate look at what our cities have become as problems and issues cannot be solved if they are not first identified. America is at a crossroads as we are waist deep in an economic crisis, still at war and trying to find our place within a rapidly changing global society. This project is a contribution to the conversation of our country’s future and it demands that we look inward at ourselves and what we have allowed to occur.
I will be showing a sneak preview of this work at Michael Mazzeo Gallery as part of the exhibition titled "Art Fair." Please join me for the opening reception this Wednesday, March 4th, 6-8pm, 526 W 26th Street, NYC.