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Tony Loreti
Working Portraits

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Tony Loreti, Driver, Meatpacking Company, Boston, MA, August 2011, Gelatin
silver print, 2011, Signed verso.

Artist Statement
The Farm Security Administration photographer Jack Delano, who was raised in modest circumstances, once said that he “often thought that if members of the nobility could have their portraits painted … my parents and people like them deserved no less.” This quote directly speaks to my motivation over the past ten years in making portraits of workers. My wish is to recognize people who are generally unsung in our society and whose modest wages are an indication of how society values them. Their contribution is essential, but it is seldom acknowledged. The aristocracy of the past had their oil paintings, and today’s aristocracy—the rich and famous—have the popular media. I consider my pictures to be a small attempt at creating some balance.

I work with film and traditional prints because I feel that there is an historical aspect to the images that I am making, and I want to create a lasting record. It is personal history—I always deliver a print to each subject—and social history. Negatives and gelatin silver prints continue to give me a sense of relative solidity and duration that I don’t feel with digital processes. (And there is nothing more beautiful than a gelatin silver print.)

Most important to me is that my portraits show the dignity of my subjects. I am very grateful to those who allow me into their lives—even for just a few minutes—to make pictures of them, and I realize that I have an important responsibility to them.

Artist Bio
Tony Loreti was born in Beverly, MA. He earned a BS in filmmaking from Boston University and an MFA in photography from the Massachusetts College of Art. He teaches photography at the Cambridge School of Weston and works as a freelance photographer for Boston-area institutions and publications.

Tony Loreti received the Best of Show Award as selected by Juror Alison Nordström.