Picturing Pilsen: A Chicago Latino Neighborhood
This series was made in the Chicago neighborhood of Pilsen, the city's largest Latino community. It's name is derived from the mostly Czech, immigrants who established themselves there in the late 19th Century, close to the industries that employed them. Since the late 1960's the European immigrant population has declined, moving to the suburbs, and today Pilsen is predominantly a Latino neighborhood. In recent years pressures of gentrification have impacted the neighborhood.
Being in Pilsen is like being witness to an ongoing street performance - a kind of magical realism is palpable. The neighborhood brims with imagery of religious, political and social content. Its business district is one of the more distinct in America. Side streets of three flats and small houses are set cheek to jowl. In 2005 I began photographing the neighborhood. My way of working is to get to know a place over time. For this series I have produced panoramas, diptychs, triptychs, and other multiple combination images.