Critical Mass Top 50, 2013

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Christine Osinski

Boy On Bike

Two Shirtless Boys

Girl Looking Sideways

Young Man with Beer Can

Two Boys with Automobile

Two Girls with Matching Outfits


Girl Holding Paper Bag

Children on Wrecked Car

Young Man Pulling Go-Kart
Christine Osinski

I have been a working photographer for a very long time, yet have never published a book of any of my work. These images were taken on Staten Island, New York in 1983-1984, shortly after I moved to the "forgotten borough" as it is often called. I walked around Staten Island with my 4x5 camera as a way of seeing what was there; I positioned myself as an itinerant photographer, recording life as I found it. Every time I left my house with the camera, I felt a sense of adventure. I never knew what I would find but it quickly became apparent that the "forgotten borough" contained many things that I understood well---people who largely go unnoticed, vernacular architecture and working class culture. People seemed willing to have their pictures taken by me and the camera became a transitional object between my subjects and myself---a conversation piece---a way to negotiate picture taking. As the camera drew people's interest, I drew their pictures. I believe that these photographs comprise an interesting document not only of Staten Island, but of working class American culture in the late twentieth century.