Photography for me is memory. The instant I press the button I’ve captured that moment as enduring cultural memory. I always say to myself, if my work is respectful of that moment, it will survive the tumultuous ups and downs of the decades and events to come. For some artists, such transcendence is seen in their lifetimes; for others like Rembrandt, Modigliani and Vivian Maier it happens after their deaths. Regardless of when, I believe that images will only endure if they contain some form of the deep vitality of the human spirit. That for me is what transcends time through the generations.
My 40 years of work with groups is a sociological quest to reveal humankind’s universal foibles and strengths. By dealing with these polarities I hope to arrive at the truth that lingers between. My work lives in those in between moments, the moments when people reveal themselves – their public faces and their private personas underneath.
We are all creatures who crave love, attention and admiration. I try to give back to my subjects exactly what they need. I hope my photographs will prevail through the vicissitudes of time, preserving the memories of the past and the dreams of the future.
Neal Slavin, A 40 year chronicle
Through 23 December 2016
Laurence Miller Gallery
20 W 57th St #300
New York, NY 10019