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J

effreyWolin is internationally recognized for his distinct

approach to combining images with the written word.

Wolin?s latest series is an extension of his past work that

documents the memories of a diverse array of subjects,

including Holocaust survivors, veterans and working

class Americans.

Pigeon Hill: Then and Now

(2011-2015)

continues his 1987-1991 portrait series photographing

the residents of the ?Pigeon Hill? housing projects in

Bloomington, IN.

Initially interested in prose and poetry, Wolin graduated

from Kenyon College in Ohio with a degree in English.

For his first job out of college, Wolin worked for the police

department in Kalamazoo, MI. ?[My experience there]

changed the way I saw the world,?Wolin said. ?I?d never seen

a dead person before. I would read the case studies, find out

what motivated people to do terrible things. Photography

fulfilled my desire for storytelling,? Wolin said.

During this time, Wolin became interested in the work of

Mexican artist Frida Kahlo and the folk art tradition of

the retablo. He relates his own work to ex-votos, artistic

offerings to saints made as thanks for divine aid. These

paintings are usually coupled with a personal inscription

to express gratitude.

?One day, I took a 16x20 portrait of my father, and I grabbed

a pen and just started filling space with writing,? Wolin said.

?That was a postmodern thing to do at the time, but that?s

not why I did it. I did it because there was no other way I

could accomplish what I wanted to do.?

By RYAN M. TRACY and GRACE IVERSON

JeffreyWolin

PIGEON HILL:

THEN AND NOW

Images (left to right): Timmy with Ferret, 1991, Jeffrey Wolin. Courtesy of the artist; Timmy Babbs,

Wabash Valley Correctional Facility, 2012, Jeffrey Wolin. Courtesy of the artist.