Photographs by Brian Finke. Text by Whitney Johnson.
Decode Books, 2012. 80 pp., 59 color illustrations, 10x10".
For his third monograph, American photographer Brian Finke (born 1976) turns his attention to building sites. “I have always been attracted to photographing within groups,” Finke has stated, “immersing myself in the scene, almost becoming one of the members.” Here, as with his previous series, which focused upon such subjects as flight attendants, high school cheerleaders and football players, Construction examines a profession or vocation that tends to be represented in stereotypical terms. Photographing at construction sites throughout Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, Finke zeroes in upon postures, expressions and gestures, revealing diversity in apparent uniformity and examining the ritual establishment of individual identities within the image of the larger group or industry. In contrast with the photographer’s previous series, the photographs in Construction incorporate much more of the surrounding environments: Finke shoots the workers in relation to the machines they operate, and then contrasts the scale of these seemingly small men, women and machines to the mammoth structures they erect. The result is a thoughtful and unusually intimate view of the construction industry that seamlessly blends the heroic with the mundane.
Read Tom Leininger's review of Construction on photo-eye Blog.