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LaToya Ruby Frazier pays homage to her great predecessors—documentary photographers of the late 19th century, such as Jacob Riis Lewis Hine, with whom she shares a desire to comment on social, political, and economic conditions. For Frazier, this means using her camera (most often large-format) to capture her hometown of Braddock, Pennsylvania, and the economic crisis that has ensued since the collapse of its steel industry in the 1970s. Her images portray her family and community, and raise issues of class, race, health care, and environmental ruin. In a criticism of a Levi’s campaign that took place in Braddock, Frazier repurposed propagandized slogans depicting a land of opportunity with harrowing images of the true conditions.
American, b. 1982, Braddock, Pennsylvania, based in Braddock, Pennsylvania