Paul D’Amato Documents America, or Chicago’s West Side / Hyperallergic + Vol 1. Brooklyn [PRESS]

Paul D’Amato, untitled photograph from the “HereStillNow” series (all images courtesy Stephen Daiter Gallery and copyright Paul D’Amato, 2013.)

Paul D’Amato, untitled photograph from the “HereStillNow” series (all images courtesy Stephen Daiter Gallery and copyright Paul D’Amato, 2013.)

CHICAGO — Paul D’Amato’s large-scale photographs in his exhibition We Shall at the DePaul Art Museum offer a glimpse into the lives of ordinary people and urban landscapes on Chicago’s West Side. Operating in a similar mode to photographer Dawoud Bey, whose work documents and gives agency to the black experience, D’Amato chooses a range of subjects, from notorious Chicago housing project Cabrini Green to a classroom of kids, from a pregnant woman to a blank white wall littered with Mickey Mouse stickers. Every Chicagoan knows about the highly segregated nature of our city’s neighborhoods. D’Amato’s photographs do their part to combat classist and racist notions, instead offering documentation of a way of American life. His statement about this project comes from 1 Corinthians 12: 12 & 26, which emphasizes the importance of every member of a community; though the subjects of D’Amato’s photographs are largely black people living on Chicago’s West Side, the HereStillNow series (from which We Shall is drawn) speaks to concerns facing all Americans, and in turn, the human race.

In this city, the media often times conflates the South and West Sides, and stigmatizes both.This report by Mark Suppelsa for WGNTV communicates that they’re places to be feared. Suppelsa displays a clear white martyr complex, writing as if he’s giving readers “the scoop” on this neighborhood because he spendt 12 hours there and “witnessed more trouble than most will see in their lifetime.” This is a report that does nothing more than heighten the fear around this neighborhood, thus creating deeper chasms between those who live there and those who don’t.

Read the full post on Hyperallergic: http://hyperallergic.com/94788/paul-damato-documents-america-or-chicagos-west-side/

Nice mention on Vol 1. Brooklyn: http://www.vol1brooklyn.com/2013/11/22/afternoon-bites-philip-glass-in-nashville-chicago-photos-niche-publishers-jason-schwartz-interviewed-and-more/