Detroit Definition

I returned to Detroit, the city of my birth, on my birthday in January 2011. It was my first real visit there for me, a Californian where I have lived since age one when our parents packed us into a car to seek fame and fortune in LA. It is strange to be defined by something unknown but when asked if I am a native Californian, I answer, “No, I was born in Detroit.” It seemed time to investigate what that means.

The photographs here represent eighteen visits to Detroit between 2011 and 2021 as part of this continuing exploration.

The first photos are stark, reflecting not only the past emptiness of the city but also my Southern California awe of the wintry urban landscape. There is beauty in this city, the buildings and the people. There is also great progress. It just takes time to see.