591 Exhibition: “Homage to the New York Photo League” - Phil Decker

The first week of 2013 I was fortunate to travel to San Francisco to see the “Radical Camera” at the Contemporary Jewish Museum, an exhibit of photos and artifacts of the now infamous New York Photo League of the 1930s-1950s. It was like visiting the “Holy Grail” of documentary photography. 

In homage to that cohort of gifted photographers who used their talents for both personal expression as well as social change, I decided to photograph throughout the weekend thinking in black and white, and trying to chronicle noticing of light, geometry, and gesture.

During my stay, a social issue that caught my eye was the contrast between opulent downtown San Francisco complete with a sea of men in business suits, and the humble folks working and surviving within their midst.  

I was also drawn to the phenomena of cell phone use … we’re always in touch with someone somewhere else, rather than with those right around us. This portfolio is a chronological photo journal of my trip, from home in Salem to San Francisco, and back again.

I was not permitted to take pictures inside the “Radical Camera” exhibit, so here’s one of the links to the exhibit’s book: www.amazon.com/The-Radical-Camera-League-1936-1951

Text and photos © Phil Decker


Dzjiedzjee said…
A very nice street series!!

Greetings from The Netherlands,

Anonymous said…
well done
br said…
outstanding street work...fabulous captures and very emotive!!!