Paul D’Amato was raised in Boston during the civil rights movement, which shaped his interest in making work about class, community and the simple drama of everyday life. After completing his MFA at Yale University, he moved to Chicago, and in 1988 began to photograph the Mexican communities on the south side of the city in the Pilsen neighborhood. D’Amato’s photographs are immersive and sensitive; the relationships he built over the years are immediately apparent in the uninhibited expressions of his subjects. “Kids finding a way to cool down during a hot summer in a neighborhood composed completely of bricks, asphalt, and concrete is common,” explains D’Amato about this photograph, one of his most iconic images. “It’s just that some moments and gestures can appear surprisingly profound.” D’Amato was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1994, The Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship to Bellagio, Italy in 1998, and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Fellowship in 2002. His monographs include Barrio: Photographs from Chicago’s Pilsen and Little Village (University of Chicago Press, 2006) and more recently We Shall (DePaul Art Museum, 2013). D’Amato participated in Light Work’s Artist-in-Residence Program in January 2016.
Signature: Signed and numbered by the artist
About Paul D'Amato
Raised in Boston during the height of racial unrest and the civil rights movement, photographer Paul D'Amato is sensitive to the emotion and drama of daily human interaction. While attending Reed College in Oregon, D'Amato traveled across the country four times a year, and he claims his experiences hitchhiking and train-hopping were equally as influential as his studies in class. After completing his MFA at Yale, D'Amato moved to Chicago and in 1988 began a venture to photograph the Mexican neighborhoods on the south side of the city. Over time, D'Amato became acquainted with the community, as illustrated in his move from traditional street photography to a more intimate portrayal of personal dramas. Eventually moving on to photograph public housing projects, men's social clubs, and rave scenes, D'Amato's work is consistent in its display of human feeling.
American, b. 1956