Rich and Poor: Jim Goldberg Photographs the Economic Divide

Rich and Poor: Jim Goldberg Photographs the Economic Divide


The second edition of Rich and Poor(Steidl), by local lens master and CCA professor Jim Goldberg, is a poignant chronicle of lives on both sides of San Francisco’s economic divide in the 1970s and ’80s. The book, which arrived just in time to underscore the current struggle between the city’s longtime residents and their forced exodus by the influx of a new moneyed class, includes previously unpublished vintage works and an accordion-book insert depicting modern-day SF streets. T.J., a 1977–1979 work seen here, depicts a sex worker who lost her right hand in a fight with another prostitute; the image makes an extreme statement about the vast economic disparity in our city. Since Rich and Poor was first released in 1985, a lot has changed: Income inequality is greater, but then again, so is consciousness. “Now I’m part of the middle class,” says Goldberg, who is currently exhibiting at the Tate Modern in London. “I’m seeing this issue from a different point of view than the one I had while making the photographs.”

This article was published in 7x7's November 2014 issue. Click here to subscribe.

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