Ever since he picked up a camaera as a young man, Ricky Flores has documented the world around him. Starting on Fox Street in the South Bronx, he went from casual pictures of his friends, to compiling a deep document of a complicated and turbulent era.
“Photographing my community, coupled with the turbulent and violent transformation of the landscape around us, galvanized me to document what was taking place around me. It wasn’t an atypical experience to photograph a fire taking place on our block on any given day, just like it wasn’t atypical to take photos of kids playing in the park or on the street or in some abandoned building. It was a commonplace experience for us. It always struck us as funny when people would express some horror when we would relate a tale from the block or just simply state that we were from the South Bronx.”
Images from that era – which are part of En Foco’s permanent collection – are among those being exhibited next month at the California Institute of Integral Studies. He recently spoke with them about his early work.