Marc Asnin: Uncle Charlie

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Marc Asnin: Uncle Charlie

September 26, 2016 - October 28, 2016

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Uncle Charlie contemplating in his living room the reality that his son Joe is dying from HIV, sitting by the window holding his newest and latest handgun in his apartment in Bushwick, Brooklyn in 1996. Image courtesy UArts.

Image courtesy UArts

On View: September 26 – October 28
The Sol Mednick Gallery of Photography
Terra Hall, 15th floor 

The University of the Arts Presents Photographer Marc Asnin: Uncle Charlie 

New York-based photographer Marc Asnin has been photographing his uncle, Charlie, for 30 years. By the early 1980s when Asnin was studying photography, the reality of his uncle’s life had trampled his boyhood fantasy. As a child, Asnin was motivated by his admiration of Uncle Charlie as a big, streetwise strong guy with a gun. Charlie and his five children (Charles, Joe, Brian, Mary and Jamie) lived together in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Frail, depressed and emotionally vacant, unable to work, unable to even leave his apartment, Charles Henschke was a shell of a human being. Uncle Charlie is an extraordinary visual and reading diary that details the life of his godfather, Charlie, and his struggles with mental illness, isolation, poverty and familial relationships. Asnin writes, “People often ask me what ‘Uncle Charlie’ is about. After 30 years, one would think I would be able to easily sum it up. But this book is life, raw unintelligible life; the life of one man, my uncle, and as in life, there are no easy answers or summaries.”

 Image courtesy UArts.

Image courtesy UArts

This exhibition was just selected by TIME LightBox for the “Fall Photo Preview 2016 – The 32 U.S. Photo Exhibitions You Can’t Miss” (#19). 

Marc Asnin is a renowned documentary photographer, having been published in numerous publications including Life, Fortune, The New Yorker, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, French Geo, La Repubblica, Le Monde and Stern. His work has been exhibited in museums and galleries in the United States and Europe, including the MoMA, Baltimore Museum of Art, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Steven Kasher Gallery, Blue Sky Gallery and is also included in several permanent collections, including the National Museum of American Art, the International Center of Photography, the Museum of the City of New York, the Portland Museum of Art, the Zimmerli Art Museum and the Schomburg Center.

His work has received numerous accolades, most notably the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award and the W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography, the Mother Jones Fund for Documentary Photography Grant, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Alicia Patterson Fellowship. Asnin’s work has appeared in books such as Uncle Charlie (Contrasto 2012) The New York Times Magazine Photographs (Aperture 2011), After Weegee (Syracuse University Press 2011), New York 400 (Running Press, 2009), Blink (Phaidon Press, 1994) and Flesh & Blood (Picture Project 1992). Ansin holds a BFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts, New York.


September 26, 2016
October 28, 2016
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Chris Macan