Chicago’s Street Vibe: Before The Dot-Com Crash, 9/11, Iraq, Afghanistan & The Global Financial Crisis

Visitors From India (see bottom of this article)

 

Artist Kevin Horan is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this social documentary photography.  From his project ‘Street Census‘ .  To see Kevin’s body of work click on any image.

 

CONSTRUCTION TRIO, FULTON MARKET STREET
John,37, carpenter, Chicago  
1)Renovating art gallery
2)That I’m a proud father of three great kids!
Ray, 31, carpenter, IL
1)Construction
2)Father of two boys and carpenter in Chicago for 15 years  
Chuck,44, carpenter, Chicago
1)Remodeling
2)That I am a nice guy!

 

“It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances.

The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.”

Oscar Wilde

 

BACK TATTOOS, PILSEN
Hector, 26, Worker, Puerto Rico (U.S.)
1)I was on my way from work.
2)A peaceful cool guy.
Jose, 32, Carpet layer, Chicago
1)Born and raised
2)I have a good! heart.
Emilio, 23, Student, Chicago
1)Take a picture
2)That I am a hard worker.

 

 

Street Census, 2000

This is about people watching. These pictures were made with the same impulse that causes some of us to pass time by sitting where there are lots of strangers and watching them go by. Each is an example of our infinite variety and complexity. Each person is the walking expression of a whole life’s story. And altogether, they are the story of a place.

This August Sander-like survey catches America at the height of its prosperity and optimism: before the dot-com crash, before 9/11, before Iraq, Afghanistan and global financial crisis.

We set up the Deardorff 8X10 view camera in ten different locations around the city, then watched to see who came by. We photographed them (the willing ones) on a white backdrop under daylight. It was endlessly fascinating to see who the sidewalk would bring us next. But it became even more interesting to see what our selected group would come to look like at the end of the day. It was as fun as dipping a net in a stream.

All of us look at people on the street and instantly judge them—even before we’ve thought about it—by their outward appearances. That’s how society operates. Like it or not, how we present ourselves in public is a statement to all; the only choice not possible is to make no statement. This project shows us that appearances do count—they count plenty. And it urges us to ask ourselves how much we’re really seeing. Go ahead and stare. That’s what still pictures are for.

Each subject filled out a form asking for vital details and two questions:

Name, age, occupation, place of birth

  1. Why are you here?
  2. What would you like people to know about you that they wouldn’t know from looking at your picture?

 

BIG GULP
Ryan,30,P.R.,VA
2)(This is) the only city to actualize my dreams in the new millennium.
That I not only play a gay man on T.V., but I am one in real life.
David, 33, Creative Director, MO
1)On my way to lunch.
2)That I’m super famous.

 

SWIMMERS, OAK STREET BEACH
Jennie, 66, Part-time substitute teacher; also do accounting and income tax and real estate broker
2)I like to swim; I love to swim at the beach
Julia, 66, Part-time substitute teacher, do income tax, insurance agent
Chicago
2)We both like Chicago because there is so much here.I love love dogs.

 

HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS, ALBANY PARK
Sophat, 15, 9 Roosevelt H.S., Thailand
1)Walking home from school
2)Very good on algebra
Rukia, 15, 9 Roosevelt H.S., Somalia
1)Walking home from school
2)No, please. Sister Sister is favorite TV show.

 

JESUS PAINTING
Aoraham, 44, Iraq
1)Living
2)I am an artist.

 

SITTING READER, MICHIGAN AVENUE
Stephanie, 40, Paralegal coordinator,Chicago
1)On vacation — enjoying a day downtown.
2)Born and raised in Chicago, write poetry, collect dolls, love animals.

 

LADY IN ORANGE, AUSTIN
Denise, 36, Sales
1)Walking past
2)Cook

 

LAWYER PAIR, CRIMINAL COURTS BUILDING
Robert, 48, Criminal Trial Lawyer, Chicago
2)To defend the Constitution and the unjustly accused.
I write movies and screenplays in the criminal law arena.
Jerome,29, Paralegal, Chicago
1)working
2)I’m very fun.

 

VISITORS FROM INDIA (featured image)

Balrup Sharma (left), 37,  Priest @ Gayatri Pariwar, India

1)For cultural religious programs

2)Religion is a way of simple living and high thinking.

Shantibhai Patel, 39, Priest  @ Gayatri Pariwar, Kutch Bhuj, Gujarat, India

1)For religious programs

2)Walk for the twenty first century bright future.

 

The locations:

Albany Park

Austin

Broadway & Melrose

Criminal Courts, 26th & California

Fulton Market

Hyde Park

Monroe & Franklin

Michigan Avenue

Oak Street Beach

Pilsen

 

See also:

Chicago Days

By Kevin Horan

 

 

 

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