American photographer recognized for his books and long-term photographic projects, where he uses different types of formats: photo-collage, written texts, video, audio, and above all the active participation of the subjects to mean the photos in which they participate. He has been a Magnum photographer since 2002.
There are two fundamental projects in his body of work, “Rich and Poor” and “Raised by Wolves”, in which the author shows the social dimension of his work. I find a certain similarity in the attitude to the author’s reforming intention in these two projects with the work of the American photographer Jacob Riis (1849-1914) who sought to improve the living conditions of those who lived in absolute poverty in the city of New York in his book “How the Other Half Lives: Studies Among the Tenements of New York” (1890). As David Bate very well summarizes: “These men wanted to demonstrate that documentary was a way of knowing and, further, that knowing would improve humanity.”
“Rich and Poor” is a project realized during 8 years in which Goldberg opens a space in which gives voice and relevance to different people of very different social statuses so that they reflect on their conditions of life in the current situation in which they are, expressing their desires, fears, ambitions, vision of the future, etc. I consider that it is a very intimate vision in the life of all these people, where the author has somehow used this project as a vehicle for these people reflect and become aware of your own situation.
“Raised by Wolves” documents the lives of teenagers at risk of social exclusion on the streets of San Francisco and Los Angeles; Goldberg spent almost 10 years photographing and interviewing young people, social workers and policemen, to build this work which, in addition to photographs, includes films, texts and representative objects of these young people to present a vision of them as individual who move along the margins of the society. It is a work of a certain visual crudity, which offers a direct view of a marginal social group. The use of rude words has an amplifying and disturbing effect.
TODO: Research about Mary Ellen Mark as a modern contemporary of social photography and in special her work “Streetwise”