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Portraits in Neighborhoods

Artist's Statement
When I moved to Chicago I wanted to use my camera as a way to better understand the various neighborhoods in the city. Because I lived on the edge of Uptown, I began my exploration by taking my camera for a walk through that community. I would return frequently to the same streets, which allowed for me to become a familiar face to many in the neighborhood. People would ask if I could take a picture of them or their children. After taking their photograph I would return and give them their portrait as a gift.

Eventually I would take the L or bus into other neighborhoods and continue working in the same manner. Often people would invite me into their homes to take portraits. I would return and hand them a portrait.

The neighborhoods that I spent time exploring have changed. The once lively streets have been subdued. Many of the small three flats where parents could be seen sitting on the front stoop watching their children play have been replaced by massive single family structures. I now understand that I was creating portraits for people who would soon be displaced by gentrification.