John Matturri

Across the Brink

34 Pages  /  18cm x 13cm

20 B&W Photographs

Catalog No. 012


About the Project

This selection of photographs, shot between 1969 and 1974, represent the observations and interactions of a young photographer as he wandered somewhat randomly through the rapidly changing downtown shopping district and the streets and housing projects of the previously predominantly Italian-American neighborhoods in which he had grown up. Still a bit shy about shooting on the street, I took many of the  pictures in response to calls of “Hey mister, take my picture!” After telling the subjects where to stand I left them alone to figure out how, in a world prior to imitative selfie poses, they wanted to present themselves, a thought process which I think is captured in many of the pictures. These interactions were situated in an urban environment that had been deeply scarred in 1967 by major civil disturbances that erupted from long standing ethnic, social, and economic inequities. The subsequent period of rapid demographic shifting and of lives resiliently lived under conditions of increasing urban decline provide the context for these photographs.