Uncle Charlie was my favorite uncle. He’s my godfather. My grandfather was a grade-A hood, hustling, pimping women, abusive. My mother got out, but Uncle Charlie never did. My mother made sure I had an education. I went to art school. In 1981, I started realizing that my uncle was an interesting person to take pictures of, and it became my family album. Charlie is fifty-one years old now and his life is a mess. He blames his kids, he blames his ex-wife, he blames my motherhe thinks he is the ultimate victim. I know enough about his life to know how he got there, but emotionally I can’t cut him any slack. I know it’s because he had an abusive childhood, but that doesn’t give you the right to fuck up your kids. Still, you know, I feel for him. He’ll always be my Uncle Charlie.
Marc Asnin has been photographing his Uncle Charlie for eleven years. Charlie and his five children (Charles, Joe, Brian, Mary, and Jamie) lived together in Bushwick, Brooklyn. This is the story of his tattos, his guns, his uneployment, his illness, his poverty, and his drug problems.
Marc Asnin is based in New York City and has been photographing for twenty years. He developed a curiosity for photography as a child growing up in Brooklyn, inspired by his father, an advertising photographer. Marc’s resume is extensive. His various awards include the W. Eugene Smith Grant, the Mother Jones Documentary Award, and the Alicia Patterson Fellowship. He has also taught at institutions such as the International Center of Photography and the School of Visual Arts.
About MARC ASNINSee more books from this Author
Across its 400-plus pages, Uncle Charlie takes you on a journey that is both epic and intimate, words and pictures combining not just to tell a story, but to give a very real sense of the often conflicting emotions and desires that drive that story.Read Full Review of Uncle Charlie | See more reviews from Guardian