They cause mixed feelings.
Paul D’amato always directs his lens on a community of people and places that are often ignored or shunned by other photographers. He patiently and persistently working for years on their projects, so that the audience could see into a world invisible to most.
There are two strands, piercing what I do as a photographer: of interest to the community and passion for the drama of human psychology. The first determines where I go, and the second is what I do when I get there.
Paul D’amato was born in 1956, grew up in Boston. After studying at Yale University he moved to Chicago and in 1988 began photographing the Mexican community in the southern part of the city. He currently teaches at Columbia College in Chicago. He claims to have learned a lot, traveling around the country, often hitchhiking or freight trains. For over two decades, D’amato documents the drama of everyday life of ordinary people.
After fourteen years of filming in the Mexican quarter he released a photo book “Barrio”. The other project, “HereStillNow” is the result of photographing African-American communities in the poorest areas of Chicago.
Paul D’amato says:
“West side Chicago African-American and poor. It refers to a number of areas such as Garfield Park, Lawndale and Humbolt Park, among others, which are among the poorest in Chicago. Even after 10 years of stay in these communities every week, from my side it would be presumptuous to claim that I know what it’s like to grow up in a place where no one seeks to move, and all leave as soon as unable to overpower it financially”.
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