I was watching a stranger on this sunny Saturday afternoon in June of 2007, as he strolled past this empty building. It had been a tannery that was founded over 150 years ago - it had also been a part of Milwaukee's industrial identity. The thought of "moving on" came to mind. The tannery closed its doors seven years prior, and this summer the building will be demolished, to make way for a new neighborhood along the Milwaukee River, consisting of apartments and condos surrounded by stores and green space.
This book is a combination of both documentary and fine art photographs. The images chronicle the final days of a tannery complex, whose parent company was once the nations leading producer of cattle hides to leather manufacturers in the US and the world. Demolition work was completed during November of 2007. I had many opportunities to search the soul of this project, because its duration and because of its close proximity to my studio,.
Like many other industrial cities, Milwaukee has seen the demise of many of its industrial giants. But in recent years the city has begun to make strides in improving its economy, neighborhoods, and image, resulting in the revitalization of the city. This collection of images is a small but recent story about the final days of a tannery, which I had hardly known, in the city that I have lived in for my entire life.
My photographic journeys begin at a specific location, which lead to discoveries of subject matter enhanced by natural light and elements of composition. In this sense, visual poetry transcends typical graphics, by using photographic imagery that distinguishes subject matter through composition, color or lack of color, focus and interest. Graphic color textures are often used to further enhance these images. The resulting images not only document, but also to arouse a viewer's senses, emotion and intellect. These images are used for prominent viewing in the home and business environment as shelf and wall groupings; subject matter includes fine art, landscape, waterscapes, street, and documentary photography.