Hoboken Passing explores the unique survivors of a neighborhood in transition. Through the eyes of the old establishment family business owners and workers, I aim to better understand what defines, binds and preserves a neighborhoods identity. What gives a community its unique soul.
These portraits of small family businesses reflect and celebrate Hoboken’s distinct character. The small city charmed me when I moved with my family to Hoboken in the fall of 2007. Through my walks and conversations with residents, I grew particularly fond of the old Mom & Pop shops that I encountered. I entered to find a sense of community that I felt missing in Manhattan. Through the dialogues that these photographs result from, I found a quiet contemplation of a cherished history.
But sadly over the last few years I’ve noticed that at an ever-increasing rate Hoboken’s old small family businesses are succumbing to the changing economy and are closing their doors, inevitably to be replaced by the ubiquitous national chain franchise store.
As an artist, my method of working with consists of walking the streets, camera in hand, and visiting. Research is key to my creative endeavors, creating portraits where the personality of the subject directs the staging, lighting and tone. Conversation and quiet observation are the foundation of my working process. My portraits are often created only after several visits.
My photography practice is a studied focus and effort to record what is vanishing from our collective memory. I question progress and capture the present so that we can honor that which is deeply rooted in the past. I hope that what I document causes the viewer to do the same.
John Delaney: Hoboken, NJ
John Delaney lives and works in New York City and was the recipient of the Discovery of the Year at the 2008 Lucie/IPA Awards. He worked closely with Richard Avedon as an assistant and then his fine art B&W printer for 15 years. John was also the printer for such photographer as Irving Penn, Bruce Davidson and Annie Leibovitz. John has exhibited in solo exhibitions at the Farmani Gallery NYC, the Su Palatu Museum of Sardinia, and Wave Gallery in Milan, Italy. In 2012 he received his MFA in Digital Photography at the School of Visual Arts.