Uncle Charlie was my favorite uncle. Hes my godfather. My grandfather was a grade-A hood, hustling, pimping women, abusive. My mother got out, but Uncle Charlie never did. My mother made sure I had an education. I went to art school. In 1981, I started realizing that my uncle was an interesting person to take pictures of, and it became my family album. Charlie is fifty-one years old now and his life is a mess. He blames his kids, he blames his ex-wife, he blames my motherhe thinks he is the ultimate victim. I know enough about his life to know how he got there, but emotionally I cant cut him any slack. I know its because he had an abusive childhood, but that doesnt give you the right to fuck up your kids. Still, you know, I feel for him. Hell always be my Uncle Charlie.
Marc Asnin has been photographing his Uncle Charlie for eleven years. Charlie and his five children (Charles, Joe, Brian, Mary, and Jamie) lived together in Bushwick, Brooklyn. This is the story of his tattos, his guns, his uneployment, his illness, his poverty, and his drug problems.
Marc Asnin is based in New York City and has been photographing for twenty years. He developed a curiosity for photography as a child growing up in Brooklyn, inspired by his father, an advertising photographer. Marcs resume is extensive. His various awards include the W. Eugene Smith Grant, the Mother Jones Documentary Award, and the Alicia Patterson Fellowship. He has also taught at institutions such as the International Center of Photography and the School of Visual Arts.
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