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Spanish Harlem: El Barrio in the '80s Hardcover – November 21, 2017
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"Rodriguez’s photographs of East Harlem capture the core of the neighborhood, a spirit of a people that survives despite the ravages of poverty, and more recently, the threat of gentrification and displacement. The trust and familiarity he built with his subjects—repeated visits with no camera, then no photographing, then little by little, a peek here, a shot there—allowed him to transcend surface level sheen and exploitation to capture images that reveal the essence of the neighborhood and of the era." –Amadeus Magazine
"His Kodachrome photographs tell stories of a community that persevered and even flourished in the face of addiction, urban decay, and, eventually, gentrification." –Artnet
"They don’t come more New York than Joseph Rodriguez." –It's Nice That
"...unearthing huge new caches of images, and re-editing and showcasing the body of work in a beautiful, deluxe monograph, reframing the project as one that pushed beyond documentary into the realm of fine art." –F-Stop Magazine
"Whether it be wild street parties or impoverished tenement families crammed into a single room, the full spectrum of life in East Harlem was preserved by Rodriguez's film work." –Gothamist
"These photos of Spanish Harlem in the 1980s, show the lush, tough life of a vibrant neighborhood." –Timeline
"The rough and the ready of 1980s Spanish Harlem captured in all its tenaciousness by documentary photographer Joseph Rodriguez." –WeHeart
"What’s beautiful about Rodriquez’s work – besides the rawness, grit and vibrance of the tableaus he paints – is that his work simultaneously glorifies the past and celebrates the Harlem that still exists today." –Creative Review
AS SEEN IN: Huck Magazine, New York Times, and Yahoo! News.
About the Author
Joseph Rodriguez was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He began studying photography at the School of Visual Arts and went on to receive an Associate of Applied Science degree at New York City Technical College. He worked in the graphic arts industry before deciding to pursue photography further. In 1985 he graduated with a Photojournalism and Documentary diploma from the International Center of Photography in New York. He went on to work for Black Star photo agency, and print and online news organizations like National Geographic, The New York Times Magazine, Mother Jones, Newsweek, Esquire, Stern, and New America Media. He has received awards and grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts, Artists' Fellowship, USC Annenberg Institute for Justice and Journalism, the Open Society Institute Justice Media Fellowship and Katrina Media Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, Mother Jones International Fund for Documentary Photography, and the Alicia Patterson Fellowship Fund for Investigative Journalism. He has been awarded Pictures of the Year by the National Press Photographers Association and the University of Missouri, in 1990, 1992, 1996 and 2002. He is the author of Spanish Harlem, part of the “American Scene” series, published by the National Museum of American Art/ D.A.P., as well as East Side Stories: Gang Life in East Los Angeles, Juvenile, Flesh Life Sex in Mexico City, and Still Here: Stories After Katrina, published by powerHouse Books. Recent exhibitions include the Hardhitta Gallery, Cologne, Germany; Irene Carlson Gallery of Photography, University of La Verne, California; Third Floor Gallery, Cardiff, Wales, UK Institute for Public Knowledge, New York, NY; Moving Walls, Open Society Institute, New York, NY; and Cultural Memory Matters, 601 Art Space, New York, NY.