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Homeless

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Reviews

"“Unexpectedly beautiful. Schatz photographs the dignity and beauty he finds in street people.”"

- The New York Times

"Schatz’s shots are harrowing for the pain they reveal, but mesmerizing for their sheer simplicity."

- Washington Post Book World

"Stunning."

- Copley News Service

This book of seventy-five portraits and first-person stories were made in the street during Schatz’ year-long exploration of the plight of the homeless.

“What Howard Schatz has done to make the extraordinary portraits in this book is to create a collaboration between himself and people who would seem to have little reason to want to be photographed. They have been left out of history, whether or not they happen to be included as statistics in the debates on public policy. They are mostly lost to their families and unwanted by businesses and neighborhoods comprehended as numbers more than names, visual evidence of society’s ills more than human faces. But not to Schatz. In the best tradition of photographic portraiture, with that rare, affable ability to gain trust that lifts the form to its most memorable height, he has made a record of people in the grip of hard times not as symbols of human need, but as themselves. For a few minutes, they are the center of attention. By dedicating himself unequivocally to the act of photographing and by giving both subjects and viewers the dignity of art’s formal distance, Howard Schatz renders irrelevant the dangers that lurk in photographs of the poor and downtrodden the sympathy that can so easily become smug, the pathos that leads to patronizing, the sense that ‘there but for the grace of God go I’ that can lure us into relief and a self-congratulatory sort of comfort, the shock that arouses first shame and then rejection. Schatz offers respect for his art, for those who are the focus of that art, and for those who view it. The message we take away is up to us. He doesn’t grab us by the shoulders and shout, ‘Feel sorry!’ Instead, he turns us toward the light and says, simply, ‘Look.'” Owen Edwards, from the introduction

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