Neal Slavin’s portraits document the human need to congregate in groups for work and play.
“My work is about that communal thing that happens between people when they get together and they put on their public persona as opposed to their private persona," says Slavin.
"Little things come out as they stand in a formation that has to do with who they are and what they want to show people looking at the photo."
Slavin's photographs of groups span 40 years, and include shots for the Sunday Times, Esquire, and the New York Times.
Gary Owens Society of Girners, Hollywood, California, 1974
Bickley School of Dancing, Bromley, Kent, 1984
New York Stock Exchange, New York, 1987
The Delorean Car Owners Association, Washington, DC, 1988
Fencers Club, Ritz Carlton Hotel, Washington, DC, 1987
"I am a photographer who is sociologically and relentlessly concerned about the nature of mankind’s need to join in or remain outside the crowd. I believe these are the two issues that define humankind’s existence." – Neal Slavin
Coney Island Polar Bear Club, Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York
“My group portraits are like maps. We tend to look into the pictures and become fascinated by the multitude of faces within the entire work. This is similar to reading a map and discovering the relationship of each town and city to the state and the nation.” – Neal Slavin
Santa's Helpers, Tastee Diner, Silver Springs, Maryland
“I want to photograph who we are masquerading as in order to discover who we really are. While preparing a photograph I am fascinated to watch which people jockey for position; a shoulder in front of the next person, a bigger smile or a bigger frown that often steals the show. On the other hand there are people who purposefully recede from the camera’s eye.” – Neal Slavin
Capitol Wrestling Association, Washington, DC, 1974
Miss USA Pageant, New York, 1973
“How do we look among our peers? There is a preoccupation about who we are and with whom we want to associate. Which group will enhance (sometimes even create) our individuality? I want to photograph this search for identity.” – Neal Slavin