Howard Traivers

Howard Traivers

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    Artist's Biography

    Howard Traivers is a self-taught photographer who began by shooting buildings slated for demolition on instamatics in the early 2000s. Traivers expanded his documentation to include abandoned industrial buildings, including the factory where his father was employed until it was shut down. What makes Traivers’ work unique, especially among the community of photographers documenting industrial ruins, is his deep connection to the collapse of industry in Philadelphia. His family was a part of the working class that suffered when industries closed or moved abroad. In 2015, Traivers became homeless and took shelter in that factory, having become familiar with its safe rooms and passages through his artistic pursuits some years earlier. He lived on the site for a year and a half with his cat, shooting photographs. Traivers’ story offers a glimpse of the personal cost of these social forces. He represents a more complete history of Philadelphia, one that is often overlooked or forgotten as industrial sites are more and more frequently renovated into condominiums, apartments, and studios.