Jim Goldberg


1953, New Haven, Connecticut


Jim Goldberg is committed to examining and extending traditional documentary photography. For his first book, Rich and Poor (1985), the San Francisco–based photographer made documentary-style pictures of people in their homes, which ranged from elegant to modest to rudimentary. He further engaged his subjects in the process by asking them to write a commentary underneath their portrait; these invariably reveal concerns about class, happiness, and power. His next major project, Raised by Wolves (1995), focused on street kids in San Francisco and Los Angeles, many of whom had been abused, and integrated their drawings, letters, memories, and family pictures into the work. In 2004, after joining the cooperative photography agency Magnum, Goldberg embarked on his extended "New Europeans" project, exploring the experience of immigrants who left war-torn or economically distressed homelands to make new lives in Europe. With his subjects' involvement and frequently using their words, he created the resulting series, Open See (2009).

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