Haunting Black-and-White Photos of ‘Bronx Boys’ Capture the Real New York

Starting with an assignment for Look Magazine in 1977, photographer Stephen Shames captured the comping-of-age of a group of boys growing up in the Bronx, then one of the grittiest and poorest neighborhoods in the United States. It was a magazine assignment that became a life’s work, because Shames followed this group of young men from 1977 – 2000 through all corners of their lives, navigating poverty and drug addiction in beautifully personal, intimate photos about growing up in New York City.

Shames’ work has been collected in a book, Bronx Boys, which will be released by University of Texas Press in October, and a vintage collection of Bronx Boys prints will be on display at New York’s Steven Kasher Gallery (515 West 26th Street, Floor 2) from November 6 through November 15, 2014, with a book signing and opening reception with Stephen Shames (and some of the Bronx Boys, including Martin Dones and José “Poncho” Muñoz), on Thursday, November 6 from 6-8pm. Check out our exclusive sample of Shames’ photographs below.

The Bronx: 30 Year Documentation 1977-2000
Photo Copyright Stephen Shames

Excerpted from the book Bronx Boys by Stephen Shames
Published by University of Texas Press