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Detroit 1968 - Photographs by Enrico Natali - Joseph Bellows Gallery - La Jolla

  • Nov 2, 2013 · 6:00 PM
  • Joseph Bellows Gallery

Detroit 1968 - Photographs by Enrico Natali

FREE Opening reception with the artist: 2 November,[masked]pm

Exhibition dates: 2 November - 21 December, 2013



As the fall of Detroit began, as her middle class American Dreamers began moving to greener pastures, and while the Motor City’s status as one of the shining stars of the industrial revolution began to fade, Detroit became a locus for the racial conflict and political upheaval that swept the country during the late 1960s. Throughout this pivotal moment, Enrico Natali was present, empathically documenting Detroit, her people and their environments, and their lives and conditions in his compelling photographs.

Forty-one years later, Natali’s photographs of Detroit still resonate with hope and emotion, and indeed, have taken on an added pathos. These pictures capture the relative calm before the storm: people attending art exhibitions, sporting events, a high school prom; families posing together for portraits; secretaries smoking their afternoon cigarettes; children, parents and grandparents, workers of every stripe—machinists, waitresses, beauticians—plying their trades with what might be described in retrospect as innocence. The spirits of these nameless faces, young and old, are the ghosts that haunt what is now—very literally—this bankrupt metropolis. 

Enrico Natali was born in 1933, in Utica, New York. During the 1960s he lived and photographed in various American cities, including New York, New Orleans, Chicago, and Detroit. At the end of that decade he ceased work as a photographer and began a meditation practice that became his primary focus, as he built a home and raised his family in California’s Los Padres National Forest. In 1990 Natali and his wife Nadia founded the Blue Heron Center for Integral Studies, a Zen meditation center in Ojai, California.

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  • Kevin

    The showing was well orchestrated, and there was enough (50+) to gather what the artist was getting at. He had to be some salesman to get some of those shots. It's an amazing look at the times. Some great company and conversationk, too. Huzzahh!

    November 5, 2013

  • Sharon H.

    I am sorry I wasn't able to attend after all. It sounds as if it was a great evening :-)

    November 5, 2013

  • Dan C.

    Excellent photo presentation at the gallery and nice to see some old and new faces last night.

    November 3, 2013

  • mady c.

    inspiring. loved his work and conversation with him about his process.

    November 2, 2013

  • Richard G.

    great show,,,loved the photo,s and the company,,,fun evening with good conversation in an interesting location

    November 2, 2013

  • Sharon H.

    I am also exhibiting on Girard Avenue this month at the Girard Gourmet: 7837 Girard Avenue, La Jolla. I am showing both my photographs & Watercolor Paintings.

    The restaurant is open from 7AM-8PM Monday thru Saturday & 7AM-&PM on Sundays. :-)

    October 30, 2013

    • Graham R.

      I hope to stop by and view your work.

      November 2, 2013

  • Dorothy M.

    If you are going to stay for night shooting in La Jolla, you might want to bring your tripod or monopod and a remote triggering shooting cable. Long shutter times are going to need these. Adjust WB and ISO and keep shooting test shots until you get the right shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. It should be really fun.

    November 1, 2013

  • Dan C.

    Bring your cameras along. Afterwards, we will walk from the gallery and do a little night photography (for those that are interested). Good chance to stretch the legs, socialize with your fellow group members, and we'll also be going for some tasty dessert ;) Remember to meet out front at 5:45 and we'll all get to meet each other.

    November 1, 2013

  • Dan C.

    REMEMBER: Meet out front at 5:45 to enter the gallery as a group.

    October 27, 2013

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