"The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." - Dorothea Lange

Friday, April 04, 2014

barber shops

A few weeks ago I began working on a series of photos of black barber shops in Kansas City. The work might be included in a show I'm having at the Ethnic Art Gallery in May (depends on how much I get done and how much I like the work). There are quite a few old barber shops in this town that have, for decades, catered to black men and boys only. Most of them are situated on the east side of town, running along streets like Troost and Prospect. These barber shops are some of the last bastions of male social gathering places - where men gather (even if they aren't getting a haircut or shave) to discuss sports, politics and current events and just have a good time together.

So, I've been hanging out at a few of the barber shops. It's been a lot of fun and incredibly interesting. I have yet to be able to visit any of the shops on a Saturday, which is when the chairs are full and the conversations are buzzing. So far, the places have been kind of quiet, but it's been a good way to get my bearings and get a feel for how the series might take shape.

1 comment:

Jessica said...

I'm thinking good things will come of this series. I've always said that wise people hang out in barber shops. I don't get to frequent them for my own needs, but I get to hang out when Andy and Sam get their haircuts.