Anastasia Photo is pleased to present The Geography of Poverty, Matt Black’s second exhibition at the gallery.
According to the Census Bureau’s measure of poverty—$11,490 annual income for one person or $23,550 for a family of four—over 45 million people fall below the poverty line in the U.S., the largest number on record for the country.
Originating on Black’s Instagram feed (@mattblack_blackmatt), The Geography of Poverty began in his home region of California’s Central Valley. In the heart of the nation’s richest state, conditions rival that of any third world nation, with residents suffering some of the country's highest unemployment and hunger rates. Combining images, geolocation, and poverty data, the project sought to put these marginalized communities on the map and chart this unseen scope of poverty in rural America. Since the first post in December 2013, The Geography of Poverty has gained over 170,000 followers and earned Black TIME's title of 2014 Instagram Photographer of the Year.
Following a preplanned route across the four corners of the United States, Black began a three-month road trip this past June, documenting over 70 cities, towns, and rural communities, connected by the fact that more than 20% of their residents fall below the poverty line. From the staggering hunger and food insecurity in the Southwest to the ‘Cancer Valley’ of Louisiana, the persistence of inequality in education and generational opportunity, and rampant unemployment and crime in the post-industrial Mid-West; Black questions what kind of America are we to be - a land of opportunity, or pockets of plenty amidst a landscape of disparity and despair?
The Geography of Poverty has been supported by the Magnum Foundation, the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting, the Economic Hardship Reporting Project and MSNBC, which is publishing Black’s project in four extended reports.
Matt Black’s work explores themes of migration, farming, poverty and the environment in his native rural California and in southern Mexico. He is a contributor to the @everydayusa feed and has produced or collaborated on multimedia pieces for msnbc.com, Orion Magazine, and The New Yorker. His work has been profiled by National Geographic, The New York Times, National Public Radio, Time and Slate, and has been honored by the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Foundation, Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund, World Press Photo, Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting, Pictures of the Year International, and the Center for Cultural Innovation, among others. He was named Time Magazine's Instagram photographer of the year in 2014 and became a nominee member of Magnum Photos in June 2015. He lives in Exeter, a small town in California’s Central Valley.
Anastasia Photo specializes in documentary photography and photojournalism. The gallery space also serves as a center for discussion and portfolio review. In an attempt to further connect these photographic images and the events they depict, Anastasia Photo endows each exhibition with a related philanthropic organization. Black’s exhibition supports the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment, a California-based environmental justice organization that uses collective action and the law to support communities of color that bear the brunt of environmental hazards. http://www.crpe-ej.org/crpe/
Anastasia Photo is open Tuesday through Saturday, 11am to 7pm. For further information or questions please contact Cyril Merle at 212-677-9725 or firstname.lastname@example.org.