Marc Asnin: Uncle Charlie
Exhibition: November 8 – December 22, 2012
Opening Reception: November 8th, 6-8 PM
Steven Kasher Gallery presents Marc Asnin: Uncle Charlie, an unprecedented long-term documentary project that details the life of the artist’s uncle and godfather, Charles Henschke. It portrays Charlie’s struggle with mental illness, isolation, poverty and familial relationships. Asnin chose to use photography as the means to reconnect with Uncle Charlie. The result is a journey that became an obsession to confront, examine, and understand disturbing truths about his uncle and family. The exhibition will feature over 25 black and white photographs and will launch the book Uncle Charlie by Marc Asnin (Contrasto, 2012).
“There are few portraits in recent American photography more intimate or remarkable than Marc Asnin’s Uncle Charlie series.” Michael Kimmelman The New York Times
Marc Asnin has been photographing Uncle Charlie for thirty years. By the early 1980s when Asnin was studying photography, the reality of his uncle’s life had trampled his boyhood admiration. As a child Asnin was inspired by Uncle Charlie as a streetwise strong guy with a gun. Charlie and his five children (Charles, Joe, Brian, Mary, and Jamie) lived together in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Over the years, Charlie became increasingly frail, depressed and emotionally vacant. Unable to work, unable to even leave his apartment, Charles Henschke became a shell of a human being.
“People often ask me what Uncle Charlie is about. After thirty years, one would think I would be able to easily sum it up. But this work is life, raw unintelligible life; the life of one man, my uncle. It's about broken dreams, disappointment, and having the resiliency to find slivers of happiness in an oppressed existence. It's about consequences, missed opportunities, delusions and loss. It's a collaboration of sorts: his words and my images. It's my dance with my godfather.” Marc Asnin
Marc Asnin is based in New York, and has been photographing for more than thirty years. He developed his curiosity for photography as a child growing up in Brooklyn, inspired by his father, an advertising photographer. His various awards include the W. Eugene Smith Grant, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Mother Jones Documentary Award, and the Alicia Patterson Fellowship.
Asnin’s work has been exhibited around the world, including: Baltimore Museum of Art, Houston Fotofest, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Museum of the City of New York. Permanent collections that include Mr. Asnin’s work include: Museum of the City of New York, Schomburg Center, Howard Stein Collection, International Center of Photography, and the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American Art.
Marc Asnin: Uncle Charlie will be on view in conjunction with the exhibition Leon Levenstein November 8th through December 22nd, 2012. Steven Kasher Gallery is located at 521 W. 23rd St., New York, NY 10011. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 AM to 6 PM. For more information or press requests please contact Christiona Owen at 212 966 3978 or firstname.lastname@example.org.