Hardback, 23.7×31.5 cm
408 pages, b/w photographs
Available upon request (waiting time: 7 days)
In the early eighties, the Brooklyn-born photographer Marc Asnin started taking photographs of his uncle and godfather, Charles Henschke, for an art-school assignment.
Asnin’s series of gritty, black-and-white photographs offer a intimate look at Charlie’s life and struggles, and also chronicle the photographer’s evolving perceptions over three decades, from his boyhood admiration of a man he viewed as his street-savvy, gun-wielding uncle to the reality of an aging man man tormented by mental illness, drug addiction, and strained relationships.
Across its 400-plus pages, Uncle Charlie takes you on a journey that is both epic and intimate, words and pictures combining not just to tell a story, but to give a very real sense of the often conflicting emotions and desires that drive that story.
“No one ever leaves home,” Charlie writes towards the end of his testimony, “and no one ever returns home.” This is a kind of exile’s story, then, and one in which the images add poignancy and power to the words, to the memories, to the arc of an outsider’s life.