I made these photographs in 1985, in the now historic neighborhood of Hamilton Park, Jersey City, New Jersey. While searching for a negative recently, I stumbled upon this long forgotten series. As I pulled out my contact sheets and old work prints, I was fascinated by how this body of images, made very early in my career, greatly inform the photographs I make today. The form of the photographs, the matter-of-fact way things are described, the willingness of the subjects to be photographed, and the care in which they present themselves all very much share the same sensibility with my current work. I was surprised how these photographs, made over three decades ago, still feel contemporary to me. The fashion styles have changed, the neighborhood has been gentrified, the young children are now adults, but these pictures remain an important testament to what was and what still is.
Eric Weeks is Chair of Photography at Pennsylvania College of Art & Design in Lancaster, PA.