Photographs by Leon Borensztein.
Nazraeli Press, Portland, 2011. 96 pp., 60 duotone illustrations, 11x13".
After emmigrating to the United States from Poland, Leon Borensztein took a fly-by-night job as a traveling portrait photographer, visiting homes and businesses across the country and making portraits for working-class clientele in the style of the Sears Portrait Studios. During these sessions, Borensztein would set up a generic backdrop behind the subject, while moving the camera back far enough so that the camera captured glimpses of the subjects’ personal spaces or belongings. The resulting body of work provides a rich sociological document; individually, these are some of the most compelling and touching portraits of their time.
Read Adam Bell's review of American Portraits on photo-eye Blog.