There are some places that are life defining. The streets of Brooklyn in the 60’s & 70’s defined Marc Asnin. He was formed in a Goodfellas world where every family had a wise guy and his was Uncle Charlie. Asnin explains odds were you either became a gangster or a cop and what they both had in common was being great storytellers. Asnin chose the middle ground and became a different kind of storyteller.

His subjects are  people with broken dreams and disappointments who have the resiliency to find slivers of happiness in their oppressed existence. Asnin’s images are unapologetic yet empathetic. Asnin recognizes the central role of the written word in telling these stories. It is a collaboration of sorts: their words and Asnin’s images. 

We witness this in his book Uncle Charlie, an ultra-personal diary. The book uses imagery and written word to portray a dark chronicle of misplaced hero worship and heroic survival. Wisely, he allows Uncle Charlie to recount his own tale in a series of remembrances that are often vivid and always revealing. Charlie's words provide a parallel narrative to Asnin's photographs. Some of the images are beautiful and touching while simultaneously others are harsh and graphic. Uncle Charlie and Asnin have entered into a symbiotic relationship in which each lives through the other. As different as they are, each has benefited from the other's presence over the last three decades.

Asnin’s bodies of work always question who is seen, who is heard, and who is intentionally forgotten? The subjects are given a chance to step up onto an imaginary stage before an anonymous audience and finally be heard.

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