“It is hard to overstate the importance of family in shaping society; for the family is an incubator for the generation to come.  Societal problems such as poverty, mental illness, sexual and mental abuse, drug addiction, and domestic violence have often been shown to be cyclical in nature, perpetuated within the family from one generation to the next.” – Marc Asnin

We’re in a really celebratory mood here at Resource today. Why, you ask? Beyond being filled with the usual sunshine and rainbows, we just got word that our very close friend Marc Asnin just won the RFK Photography Award for his book Uncle Charlie. We want to take this opportunity to congratulate him on this very impressive validation of his efforts over the years on this work.

Marc-Asnin, RFK-Photography-Award, Photography, Art

© Marc Asnin, RFK Photography Award

 

The RFK Photography Award has existed in some capacity since 1968, where a select number of journalists and photographers were acknowledged for their outstanding contributions to causes that Robert F. Kennedy felt passionate about. The spirit of the original mission statement for that award is still alive today, and it is easy to see how Marc is a perfect candidate for this prestigious honor.

If you don’t know the story already, it goes something like this: Marc has been photographing and interviewing his Uncle for years before he decided to make a book about it. “When I started the Uncle Charlie project I never intended it to be a photo book…” he said when recalling the origins of the collection. Part of what makes this harrowing tale so complex and intriguing to us is the context in which it functions. Uncle Charlie is not only the story of one man and his deeply rooted disaffections, it is a broader statement about a generation that had to struggle with a much different scope of issues than the ones that came immediately after it. It is the tragedy of those who fall through the cracks in the march of progress and ways in which our culture destroys its young. Uncle Charlie is emblematic of this struggle and Marc makes no excuses for it.

Marc-Asnin, Art, Photography, Uncle Charlie, Books

© Marc Asnin 2013

 

Marc had a long road to this moment that included but wasn’t limited to finding a designer, which came to him by chance when he read Chernobyl Legacy. Hoping for the best, Marc contacted Giorgio Baravelle. Mr. Asnin remembers the “instant chemistry” they had and instantly moved forward with him as a creative partner, creating the typography and layouts that could properly speak to the narrative of Uncle Charlie’s life. Of his Uncle, Marc laments that, “My uncle was born into a dysfunctional family in Bed-Stuy Brooklyn in 1940. An alcoholic father with a gambling and barbiturate addiction, notorious as a local gangster, Uncle Charlie’s male role model growing up was anything but a model father and citizen.”

Marc-Asnin, Photography, Art, Books, Uncle-Charlie

© Marc Asnin 2013

 

The story of this book shows us all that everything can fall into place if one stays true to their creative vision. Beyond conceptualizing and executing the content for this book, Marc also had to set about the grueling process of selecting a publisher, a part of the endeavor that many overlook. Speaking on the tribulations of that final stretch, Marc said, “You’ve come this far. Don’t blow it by choosing the wrong publisher.” Imagine being in a position where you might have to compromise your whole project just to get it seen by the public. Luckily, Marc waited it out and went with Contrasto, a publisher who worked very closely with mark realizing his vision.

 

Marc-Asnin, Uncle-Charlie, Art, Photography, Books

© Marc Asnin 2013

 

It’s hard to stay true to yourself in all these moments of doubt when we’re not so sure how the future will play out. In the end, fortitude paid off for Marc Asnin, and now he finds the fruits of his labor are being rewarded.

 

Interested in checking out the book for yourself? You can grab a SIGNED copy at our REtail store. Stay tuned for updates on the limited edition box set that will be released shortly, featuring Uncle Charlie prints.