Dave Jordano

American Photographer | Born: 1948
Dave Jordano was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1948. He received a BFA in photography from the College for Creative Studies in 1974. In 1977 he established a successful commercial photography studio in Chicago, IL, shooting major print campaigns for national advertising agencies.

Since 2000, Jordano has concentrated on and established himself as an awarding winning mid-career fine art documentary photographer. He was awarded an honorable mention in the Houston Center for Photography’s Long Term Fellowship Project in 2003, and received the Curator’s Choice Award the following year for his documentary work on Small African American Storefront churches on the south side of Chicago. In 2006, 2008, 2013, and 2016 Jordano has been selected as a top 20 finalist in Photolucida's "Critical Mass" International Photography Competition. He was also selected for inclusion in "One Hundred Portfolios", a compilation featuring the work of 100 leading photographers from around the world and sponsored by Wright State University, Dayton, OH. A major exhibition of his work from the "Articles of Faith" project was held at the Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, Illinois in 2009.

In 2014-15 he was a finalist in the LensCulture Exposure Awards for his documentary work on Detroit and was also included in the highly competitive Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC. Most notably, Jordano won the prestigious Canadian AIAMI / AGO Photography prize for 2015, which included a $50,000 prize and a six week, fully paid residency anywhere in Canada which he fulfilled by documenting the northern arctic town of Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada.

Jordano has exhibited both nationally and internationally and his work is included in several private, corporate, and museum collections. Most notably the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington DC, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, IL, The Museum of Fine Arts Boston, The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, The Detroit Institute of Arts, The Mary & Leigh Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, the Harris Bank Collection, and the Federal Reserve Bank.

His second book, published by the Center for American Places at Columbia College, Chicago titled, "Articles of Faith, Small African American Community Churches of Chicago", released in April 2009.

His most recent publication, "Detroit - Unbroken Down" documents the cultural and societal changes of his home town of Detroit and was published in the fall of 2015 by PowerHouse Books, Brooklyn, NY.

His fourth coming publication "A Detroit Nocturne" with an essay by Karen Irvine, Co-Director of the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, will also be published by PowerHouse Books and has a launch date scheduled for April 2018.

Dave Jordano currently lives in Chicago, Illinois.
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A Detroit Nocturne
Author: Dave Jordano, Karen Irvine
Publisher: powerHouse Books
Year: 2018 - Pages: 120
In a continuation of Dave Jordano's critically-acclaimed Detroit: Unbroken Down (powerHouse Books, 2015), which documented the lives of residents, Detroit Nocturne is an artist's book not of people this time, but instead the places within which they live and work: structures, dwellings, and storefronts. Made at night, these photographs speak to the quiet resolve of Detroit's neighborhoods and its stewards: independent shop proprietors and home owners who have survived the long and difficult path of living in a post-industrial city stripped of economic prosperity and opportunity.

In many rust-belt cities like Detroit, people's lives often hang in the balance as neighborhoods support and provide for each other through job creation, ad-hoc community involvement, moral and spiritual support, and a well-honed Do-It-Yourself attitude. With all the media attention about Detroit's rebirth and revival, it is important to note that many neighborhoods throughout the city have managed to survive against the odds for years, relying on local merchants and businesses that operate on a cash only basis who have stuck it out through decades of economic decline.

Determination and a strong sense of self-preservation: Detroit's citizens manage to survive by maintaining a healthy sense of connection without the fear of giving up. All of these places of business and residences, whether large or small, are in many ways symbols representing the ongoing story that is Detroit, and a testament to the tenacity of those who are trying desperately to hold on to what is left of the social and economic fabric of the city. These photographs speak to that truth without casting an overly sentimental gaze.

These nocturnal images offer a chance to view the locations in an unfamiliar light, and offer a moment of quiet and calm reflection.
 
Detroit: Unbroken Down
Author: Dave Jordano
Publisher: powerHouse Books
Year: 2015 - Pages: 160
Dave Jordano returned to his hometown of Detroit to document the people who still live in what has become one of the country's most economically challenging cities. Against a backdrop of mass abandonment through years of white flight, unemployment hovering at almost three times the national average, city services cut to the bone, a real estate collapse of massive proportions, and ultimately filing the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, Jordano searches for the hope and perseverance of those who have had to endure the hardship of living in a post-industrial city that has fallen on the hardest of times.

From the lower Southeast Side where urban renewal and government programs slowly became the benchmark of civic failure, to the dwindling enclaves of neighborhoods like Delray and Poletown (once blue-collar neighborhoods that have all but vanished), Jordano seeks to dispel the popular myth perpetrated through the media that Detroit is an empty wasteland devoid of people. He encounters resolute individuals determined to make this city a place to live, from a homeless man who decided to build his own one-room structure on an abandoned industrial lot because he was tired of sleeping on public benches, to a group of squatters who repurposed long-abandoned houses on a street called Goldengate. Jordano discovers and rebroadcasts a message of hope and endurance to an otherwise greatly misunderstood and misrepresented city. Detroit: Unbroken Down is not a document solely about what's been destroyed, but even more critically, about all that has been left behind and those who remain to cope with it.
 
 

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