Friday, September 30, 2005

C'mon, E-----

I have known E----- for a few years; she was a stranger when I first approached her to take her photo.

I didn't see her around for about a year or two and then I saw her working at 7th and Wolf about a month ago. She's a South Philly gal like myself. She had moved around a lot in the last few years and ended up living just 2 homes away from where I first met her.


E----- at her new home. I'm feeling this photo.

e----- photos in apt3-1web

Photos of E-----'s kids.

162 e----- smoking

E----- at her old home. This is one of the first photos I made of her and it's one of my favorites.

Today E----- was wearing a shirt, "Will Fuck For Food." It's hysterical, but it ain't no joke. Despite all the horror in the idea that this is a truth and not a joke, and because the level of desperation is laid out for everyone to flinch from, I've got to give it to you E-----. You are a fucking riot. See you when I see you, baby!

e----- will fuck for food2-1web

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Photo of the Week Club

Hey Friends,
Just putting it out there that if you join my e-mailing list you receive my photo of the week. Just drop me a line and let me know if you're interested and you will receive one photo a week from me.

Here are some recent examples of photo of the week...

69th st gas station after flood august 4th10web

everything store8-1web

couple at counter at howard johnsonsweb

138 lets roll anxious depressed? copy

Occasionally, there will be adult content and I have begun to put a warning in the subject line if appropriate. Sometimes you don't want to be opening "here's my dick" at work.

If you're interested, drop me a line at with "Subscribe" in the header. Thanks!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Ode to the Greatness of My Lady, Lynn Bloom

As many of you know, I regard Lynn Bloom as the greatest person on earth.
She was not thrilled with my going to the South and was nervous while I was there. Ms.Bloom is a worrier by nature, so it's difficult for her knowing that I go into difficult situations sometimes.

The photos above were made in Camden. I was in an abandoned home with a stranger who was smoking crack.

civic center30-1email

I was arrested a few months ago for "defiant trespass" when I broke into the closed site at the now demolished Civic Center to make this photo. My arresting officer (thanks to her for making the call) called Lynn Bloom while I was handcuffed in the back of the car and told her that I had been arrested and relayed the message to just order pizza since I wouldn't be home for dinner.

man on stairs recliningin apt2-1web
I met this man last month and after talking with him for about 2 minutes he offer to pose nude. I immediately walked up to his apartment to photograph him. After I took this photo, I called Lynn Bloom to tell her about it while she was in the middle of a stressful 10 hour workday.

art at home
Art lives in Crystal, NV and I knocked on his door and asked if I could come into his home and take photos. I had met him the day before outside of his trailer and went back the next day. Art had several guns lying around his house, in this photo you can see 2, one in the blue chair and one on the table.

In all of these instances, the great Lynn Bloom was supportive, and by supportive I mean that she didn't break up with me after hearing about where I had been and what I had been doing. As I have mentioned before, Lynn Bloom and I are pushing 17 years together so she's really had to put up with a lot with me. I am without a doubt the luckiest woman in the world to be her girl.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Well, over the weekend I worked on the Mississippi photos and they're stronger than I initially thought. Because the scope of the devastation is so huge, it was difficult for me to see if I had pulled out any strong details from the destroyed cities. The photos are not representative of the size of this tragedy: they are details of a kind of destruction that is beyond the ability to see it fully, no less comprehend it. There's no fucking way I could represent the amount of physical devastation brought on by the storm or accurately represent the ensuing man-made tragedy of the Bush administration's response to the devastation. At least 10 of these photos are keepers though. Sometimes it can take me a year to decide where a photo fits into the larger grouping of my work.

these three are for sure and you can see all the others in the previous post, "Gulfport and Biloxi, Mississippi."

gulf towers apts mom were ok4-1web copy
Biloxi, MS

mcdonalds sign warped15-1web copy
Biloxi, MS

windows blown out venitian blinds3web copy
This photo echoes "Bulletholes," a photo I made last year here in South Philly. The continuum is very important to me.

2-bulletholes 1 copy
South Philly

Friday, September 23, 2005

Gulfport and Biloxi, Mississippi

So I went to Mississippi and took a look around and drove bags of ice to people who needed them and handed out pads.

Ice is worth it's weight in gold in Southern Mississippi right now and many people who need it are unable to get to distribution points because of lack of transportation. Some people never had cars and many, many people lost their cars due to the storm so I drove through the neighborhoods giving out ice and bottled water to those who needed it, which was almost everyone. I just picked up the ice and water at a distribution point on the main drag and would go back and stock up when I was out.

I met up with a group of doctors and nurses who just found each other after having come down to see if they could help. They formed a group of about 20 people- nurses, doctors, security, helpers- on the fly and drove around going door to door in MS offering medical assistance. I met them on Saturday and dropped off supplies that I'd brought down.

Then, on Monday when Manny flew down, we followed them on their route for a little. Manny and I were there on an off day. They were slightly disorganized and disgruntled after some tiff about RN or LN registration stuff that I didn't really understand.

giving tetanus shot2-1web copy
They would give tetanus shots to whoever needed them. This woman was just walking by and asked for one when she saw the van.

We drove around and took some photos and distributed some of the over the counter medicine that I bought and Manny brought down on the plane: tylenol, asprin, diaper cream, etc. People always just took what they needed, which was pretty amazing.

I was happy I could go and help out even for a day. I want to go back at some point, for sure. Those folks are in for a long haul.

I took some photos, not a ton, though. None are color corrected yet, but I wanted to put them up.
I am too overwhelmed by the trip to know if I have any good photos. These are mostly documentation, not fancy fine art and shit.

yellow building fema help-1web copy

woman who lived through storm in front of fema trailer11-1web copy

This woman stayed in Gulfport during the storm and had to leave her house in waist deep water and get to higher ground. She stayed in this same house during Camille and was sure she'd be ok. She told me that the storm was at least 12 solid hours, it started at 5am and kept on until 5 or 6 pm. I hadn't even thought about how long the storm would be going on. This lady was awesome. She's now living in front of her destroyed home in a little FEMA trailer. Her home had never flooded before but during this storm she had about 6 feet of water in her house.

windows blown out venitian blinds3web copy

ventilation ducts in hancock building-1-1web copy

tv on 2nd floor1web copy

philadelphia tattoo2-1web copy

This guy got his tattoo in Philadelphia, in Chinatown. How is possible? I don't know. He's lived in Biloxi for over 30 years.
We started to talk and he told me he'd been in Philadelphia before. He was 16 when he got the tattoo and had borrowed a fake ID to get it. When he got in the chair, the tattooist asked him if he wanted the name "Mike" or "Michael" on his arm which was the name on the ID. This guy said how about my girlfriend's name, "Jerry," which is actually his name. He ended up with hearts adorning the name instead of the stars that men usually get with their names. He's also living in front of his destroyed home in a little FEMA trailer. His home didn't flood but the roof blew off and the rain and wind destroyed everything inside.

black mold house6-1web copy

tree on car9-1web copy

shirts and pants hanging2-1web copy

dairy queen sign4-1 Gulfport MSweb

trucks piled up8-1web copy

mcdonalds sign warped15-1web copy

sharhonda6-1web copy

quick cash pawn7-1web copy

looters wil be shot3-1web copy

pictures drying outside5-1web copy

lawn jockey8-1web copy

just foundation2-1web copy

overturned billboard on 10-1web copy

gulfport woman's home spelling achievement award-1web copy

gulfport woman-1web copy

green home with no roof5-1web copy

happy birthday kid on porch-1web copy

gulf towers apts mom were ok4-1web copy

funeral home2-1web copy

drying money-1web copy

billboard with woman hanging down 16-1web

collapsed building white2-1web copy

blue house w- partially uprooted tree6-1web

clothes distribution17-1web copy

boz scaggs billboard as roof3-1web
Many people repaired their roofs with vinyl billboards that had blown down from the billboard frame.

contents outside3-1web copy

As far as you could see, the houses that were still standing had all of their contents piled up outside to be picked up as trash within the next couple of weeks. Hardly anything could be salvaged if the home was flooded.

collapsed home5-1web copy

bar- wall mirrors8-1web copy

clothes in lot gulfport3-1web

beware of snakes day8-1web copy
These cars had been submerged and snakes were living in them

barge casino on land3-1web copy
This was a barge that had floated inland and landed on the north side of highway 90.

passing supplies12-1web copy