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Inside the Artists' Studio: Jim Goldberg, the Tough Guy

Jim Goldberg

“A lot of my work is closed, and some of it’s very hard,” says photographer and author Jim Goldberg. The point is easily made at Goldberg’s studio, above Thrift Town on Mission Street, where photos of subjects from all over the world—doing ordinary things and wearing their suffering as casually as T-shirts—are tacked semi-haphazardly on the walls.

The wild-eyed New Haven, Connecticut native came to San Francisco to be an artist in 1976 and has lived in the same Haight apartment for more than 30 years. He began his first book, Rich and Poor (which will be reprinted this spring), while in graduate school at the SF Art Institute.

His most recent work, Open See—a multi-layered document about the lives of immigrants, refugees, and trafficked people—received the coveted Deutsche Börse Award last year. He’s currently at work photographing people who collect cardboard in Buenos Aires.

This article was published in 7x7's November issue. Click here to subscribe.