Michael Mazzeo Gallery is pleased to present Down These Mean Streets, an installation of photographs and ephemera by the American documentary photographer and writer, Will Steacy. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition at the gallery.
Down These Mean Streets provides us with photographic evidence of America’s abandonment of it’s inner cities.
Prompted by the pervasive fear gripping the country and our preoccupation with homeland security, America has diverted its attention and resources away from those most in need, divesting itself of the basic responsibilities of affordable housing, medical care and essential infrastructure.
Working only at night, Steacy walks alone from the airport to the central business district of each city he explores. With map in hand, he follows a loosely planned route through the barren streets and neighborhoods routinely avoided by all but local inhabitants, while stopping to document his observations and chance encounters on film.
Illuminated by the saturated, artificial colors of the urban night and marked by long, patient exposures with his large-format view camera, Steacy’s images seductively draw us into a country of foreclosed homes and vacant lots, broken economies and neglected people. With a combination of carefully composed urban views, subtly precise detail images, and insightful portraits, he allows us the time and space to enter this world and question our role in it.
This project marks a continuation of Steacy’s extended paean to the American working class. He has received numerous awards and praise for his work including the prestious Tierney Fellowship and The Aperture Foundation New York City Green Cart Photography Commission. Steacy was named as a 25 Under 25: Up-and-Coming American Photographers by powerHouse Books and The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. His photographs have been featured in The New Yorker, Harper’s, New York Magazine, Newsweek, The Paris Review and on HBO and CNN.