Following the success of his book Uncle Charlie that has been met with critical acclaim, Marc Asnin has put together the first comprehensive exhibit of his 30-year project. Shown at theQueensborough Community College, the Uncle Charlie exhibition is a pertinent cross-examination and photo essay of mental illness, street culture, and family.
The subject of Uncle Charlie, is Uncle Charlie himself, Asnin's real life uncle and godfather, Charles Henschke. A complex man who has struggled with mental illness, poverty, and drug addiction through his life, is chronicled through captures of himself and the environment around him, including the family home and streets of New York. Asnin grew up in Brooklyn at a time when those on the fringes of society were considered “cool”. Being surrounded by a culture that included gangsters and drug dealers influenced his early work and set the course for his innate ability to capture the harsh realities of their daily lives.
Caught on Asnin's film are subjects that project a profound isolation, within settings that are both barren, as well as cluttered and heady. All in black and white, the nature of each scene is heavily resonant with the viewer. The negatives shot with Leica and Hasselblad film were scanned to produce digital files for us to work with and print from. Printed on a beautiful 100% rag warm tone baryta gloss, these prints have everyone convinced that they were made in a traditional wet darkroom.
Exhibition photographs and work courtesy of Marc Asnin.