Paul D’Amato

August 4, 2011 - August 28, 2011

Angela, 2010
2010 print
Pigmented ink photograph on Hahnemuhle paper
38" X 46"

Image © Paul D'Amato

C.J., 2004
2010 print
Archival inkjet photograph on Hahnemuhle paper
24" X 20"

Image © Paul D'Amato

Christ Mural, 2009
2011 print
Pigmented ink photograph on Hahnemuhle paper
24" X 20"

Image © Paul D'Amato

Girl with Laundry, 2004
2009 print
Archival inkjet photograph on Hahnemuhle paper
46" X 38"

Image © Paul D'Amato

Man Looking in Revival Tent, 2004
2006 print
Archival inkjet photograph on Hahnemuhle paper
46" X 37"

Image © Paul D'Amato

Miss Evans, 2010
2010 print
Archival inkjet photograph on Hahnemuhle paper
46" X 38"

Image © Paul D'Amato

Shavondra, Chicago, 2005
2006 print
Archival inkjet photograph on Hahnemuhle paper
46" X 37"

Image © Paul D'Amato

Tashma II, 2007
2008 print
Archival inkjet photograph on Hahnemuhle paper
46" X 38"

Image © Paul D'Amato

Tim, 2005
2010 print
Archival inkjet photograph on Hahnemuhle paper
46" X 38"

Image © Paul D'Amato

Paul D’Amato

We Shall

“The subject of public housing, its sudden eradication, and its significance to the history of race and class issues in the U.S., though fascinating, is beyond the reach of photography.” –Paul D’Amato

In 2003, artist Paul D’Amato began photographing three public housing projects on Chicago’s near west side: Rockwell Gardens, Henry Horner, and Cabrini-Green. “We Shall,” as a much larger portfolio, is dominated by pictures of the area’s residents. These portraits are taken from a close, but not intimate, middle distance and feature the direct gaze of subjects who seem open yet guarded. Their expressions register somewhere between resistance and resignation, as intense and complicated as their situation.

“As a photographer my strategy is to make photographs that insist on the significance of the person standing in front of the camera. . . The pictures have to be specific and equal to the uniqueness of the individual pictured. This requires a certain kind of performative achievement by both my subject and myself. We have to act, pretend even, that our common humanity is far greater than differences in ethnicity, class, education, age, and gender.”

Paul D’Amato was born in Boston in 1956 where he attended Boston Latin School. He moved to Oregon to attend Reed College and served as one of Blue Sky’s co-directors in the early years of the organization. After receiving an MFA from Yale University, D’Amato moved to Chicago where he discovered the communities of Pilsen and Little Village. The pictures and writing D’Amato produced there over the next fourteen years were published in the book, Barrio (University of Chicago Press, 2006). His work is in several public collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; the Fogg Museum at Harvard University; and the Portland Museum of Art, Maine. Currently on the faculty at Columbia College, Chicago, he has been awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, a New England Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, a Maine Arts Commission Grant, an Illinois Art Council Grant, and he was a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow in Bellagio, Italy. Paul D’Amato’s work was exhibited previously at Blue Sky in 1981, 1987, and 1993.

"We Shall" appears at Blue Sky courtesy Stephen Daiter Gallery, Chicago.