|Photographer: Stephen Shames|
These are pictures of friends I met as children who became my family, as well as, people who stepped in front of my camera once and disappeared forever. I watched my friends grow up, fall in love, have children of their own. The boys in the original “crews” are now in their forties—their children are becoming adults. A few, including my two Godsons, have made it; many others are dead or in jail.
Often I am terrified of The Bronx. Other times it feels like home. My images reflect the feral vitality and hope of these young men. The interplay between good and evil; violence and love; chaos and family are the themes—but this is not a documentation. There is no “story line”. There is only a feeling.