We love showing off our talented residents! Meet Richard Younker, a prominent self-taught photographer born and raised in Chicago. The Selfhelp Home is proud to display an art show in the Family Room featuring some of his work. Learn more about Richard and his career…
According to an article from the Chicago Reader, “Photographer Richard Younker grew up in the kitchen of his father’s downtown Chicago restaurant, watching and listening to the Irish, German, African-American, and Hispanic workers who made the place tick. As an adult, he used a camera to capture the people he saw, taking it into the city’s ethnic neighborhoods and toughest streets. For Younker, this was a continuing revelation: he saw people’s lives “etched into their faces” and says he heard poetry when they spoke.
Over the last 25 years his work has appeared in local publications, including the Chicago Reader, and several books. Last fall the University of Illinois Press published a new collection of 85 photographs he took between 1973 and 1996, each accompanied by a short monologue – words that Younker says stuck in his head and fell into a natural cadence.”
Richard is very well-known for his “Changing Chicago” documentary project in the late 1980’s where he photographed various neighborhoods in Chicago, highlighting interactions between neighbors, friends and relatives. The Museum of Contemporary Photography describes the project further, “The particular settings for his photographs range from social events to places of work and worship. One of the largest documentary photography projects ever organized in an American city, Changing Chicago commissioned thirty-three photographers to document life throughout Chicago’s diverse urban and suburban neighborhoods. The project was launched in 1987 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the invention of photography.”
Photo of Richard Younker & Judy Kiehm