“You fight it out. And then, after that, you hug it out, and you become friends. You know, you become closer, brothers, family. …”
For five years, photographer Brian Finke documented StreetBeefs, an underground fight club in rural Virginia founded by an ex-con named Scarface. Tired of seeing his community ravaged by preventable violence and drug-use, and fueled by the distrust and failure of the prison system, Scarface began hosting fights, inviting anyone anywhere to come resolve disputes with their fists, not guns. Thousands of fights later, The Yard has grown into a cult destination and supportive community. It’s a positive space not only for conflict-resolution, but also an outlet for recovering addicts and ex-convicts, amateur fighters, the young and bored—or anyone needing to relieve stress by punching someone in the face.
It is now a book.
Brian Finke’s visual cultural commentary focuses on authenticity and the absurdity of everyday life and the whole range of human behavior. A stylized documentarian and trained photojournalist, Finke’s honesty and intimacy when capturing subjects strikes at the core of contemporary life, with a uniquely American point of context and graphic sensibility.
Often with boundary pushing subject matter, Finke challenges the viewer to confront what is often right in front of them, with an almost surreal understanding of immediacy, time, and place. From street photography to commercial portraiture to fashion editorials, his immersion in culture-at-large creates imagery that is deeply tied to the political and emotional undertones of the modern world.
Brian Finke : Backyard Fights
Photography by Brian Finke
Hat & Beard Press
Design by Ben Schwartz
Softcover, with rotating paper stocks, 124 pages
10.25 inches x 10.25 inches
26.035 cm. x 26.035 cm.