Joseph Heathcott is 49-year-old photographer, writer and educator who was born and raised in a working class Catholic family in Evansville, Indiana and currently lives and works in New York, where he is Associate Professor of Urban Studies at The New School. “Since I was 14 years old, I have held jobs as a roofer, dishwasher, carpenter, fry cook, “yard dog” (lumber yard worker), community organizer, teaching assistant, and professor,” he explained. Joseph focuses on facades, he shoots stunning urban mis-en-scène around the world.
The Facade Project takes a caring look at the faces that buildings show to the world. It is an effort to expose the multiple facets of cities through the pockmarked personalities of the buildings they contain. In making these images, I do not pretend to expose the “depth” of experience or the “meaning” of place; rather, the more humble goal is to ruminate on the urban surface, where urbanity takes life as a constant interplay of glamour and blemish, light and shadow, rupture and continuity. Facades record urban data in their surfaces, and in doing so they both announce and conceal the facts of the city, revealing and obscuring the innumerable banal conditions of urbanity.
The project deploys the techniques of architectural photography, particularly in the concern with the relation between aesthetics, materials, and form However, unlike traditional approaches that seek grand narratives of design or definitive judgments about form, the Facade Project uses photography to probe, prompt, and tease out the texture of ordinary landscapes and to illuminate the visual frameworks of everyday city life. As an essay in a new architectural photography, the project uses repetition, close cropping, constricted focal length, shallow depth of field, asymmetry, and other techniques to convey a range of moods and possibilities.
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