The photograph Warren Avenue at 23rd Street, Detroit, Michigan, October 1993 by Joel Sternfeld, is one with great meaning and use of many creative tools.
This photograph has two main purposes: to commemorate a loved man who was murdered and to point out the injustice of his murder. There is a painting of this man with clouds behind him signifying he was a great man who is now in a better place, however, the man is covered in red and there is a large amount of red underneath him on the curb representing the bloodshed of his unfair death. Right in the center of this photograph written very largely across the wall of the building is the phrase, "When you take someone's life, you forfeit your own." There are also flowers that people have placed in the surrounding area, somewhat like a grave site. These things represent the people's opinion about this man and the killing.
The structure of Warren Avenue is very straight with many corners. There are dark windows forming almost symmetrical black squares across the photograph. The straightness represents the seriousness of the issue and the blackness might represent the mourning some might feel for this man who is now gone.
Again, the purpose of this photograph is to commemorate a man and point out his unjust death. As such, Joel Sternfeld's audience is that of the general public, or maybe more specifically, Americans. He wanted to bring attention to an event that should never have taken place, maybe in hopes to prevent a similar situation from occurring. Maybe he thinks if enough attention is drawn to an event such as this, the people who caused it will be forced to avoid future situations with similar happenings so people may still trust them.
The point of view Sternfeld uses for this photograph is very interesting and purposeful. He includes almost nothing more than this building and makes it a point to center the phrase about forfeiting life. He centered this phrase to reinforce his purpose and he includes...
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