Art and Architecture, Chicago, Reviews

Review: D’Amato, Barrio

jacket image A recent review in the Chicago Sun-Times calls Paul D’Amato’s Barrio: Photographs from Chicago’s Pilsen and Little Village “a beautiful and troubling warts-and-all portrait of the city’s largest Mexican-American neighborhoods.” Chronicling the 14 years he has spent photographing Chicago’s “Latino strongholds,” Mr. D’Amato’s work is a profoundly empathetic vision of the human struggles of a community that might otherwise remain hidden behind cultural and economic barriers. Kevin Nance, reviewing D’Amato’s book for the Sun-Times seems to agree when he writes:

Certainly few of the images here are likely to make their way into tourist brochures; Pilsen, the book’s ground zero, is shown as a gritty landscape of littered streets, dilapidated buildings, gang violence and spray-paint artists. At its best, however, the book transcends politics, offering images of the human condition—especially those having to do with relationships between the sexes—that penetrate the surfaces of ethnicity, class and geography.

With a foreword by author Stuart Dybek that places D’Amato’s work in the context of the Pilsen and Little Village neighborhoods that Dybek has elsewhere captured so memorably, Barrio offers a penetrating, evocative, and overall streetwise portrait of two iconic and enduring Hispanic neighborhoods.