Photographer Sy Kattelson

Ok, forgive the shameless plug for my dad, Sy Kattelson but his work is quite amazing as I think you will agree.
I have shown some of his fashion work here before but not his art photography.  Since he is currently included in a fantastic show at the Jewish Museum in NYC , The Radical Camera: New York's Photo League, 1936-1951, I thought now would be the perfect time.
The Photo League was a group of NY photographers that included Aaron Sisskand, Ruth Orkin, Weegee, Leon Levinstein, Bernice Abbott, Paul Strand, Helen Levitt, Lissette Model... the list goes on.  They used their camera's to focus on such social issues as race, class and poverty while creating extraordinarily beautiful images.  It's particularly fitting that the show is happening now as we wrestle with many of the same issues.
The League comprised of a school, darkroom, gallery and salon where photography was discussed as an art form in addition to being a means for social change.  It's hard to imagine but at that point in time photography was not thought of as art- something the League helped to change.
The group disbanded in 1951 after being named by the U.S attorney general as a Communist organization after having valiantly tried to fight being blacklisted.  The attorney general couldn't understand why people would want to photograph the average person if it wasn't for subversive reasons, again hard to believe in this day and age when most everyone carries some form of camera with them everywhere.
There are several good books about the League here.