Jim Goldberg’s raw photographs of people at the social fringes — whether they be disenfranchised teenagers or nursing home residents — have established him as one of the most important documentarians of our time. Before the advent of the camera phone, he was holding up a mirror to the world around him and, in doing so, amplifying the realities some might rather ignore.
In 1995, Goldberg published Raised by Wolves — a study of the lives of adolescents scraping by on the streets of Los Angeles. Immersing himself in the experiences of these young people, Goldberg spent years photographing them and capturing major life events, such as pregnancy and even death, as they battled with drugs, violence and poverty. Alongside photos, the Goldberg collected ephemera — written fragments of conversations with his subjects and even a court report —to give Raised by Wolves a weight that far exceeds that of your average art project.
Now, this landmark body of work has been revisited with Fingerprint, a new photobook that brings together previously unseen polaroids which formed the basis for the Raised by Wolves series. At times, the images are covered with scrawled writing that explores the pictured teens’ identity and resilience, providing even further inside into Raised by Wolves’ creation.
See some images from the series below.