I first encountered Lori Grinker’s remarkable work as a photographer in her book AFTERWAR: Veterans from a World in Conflict, where a century of war is represented by and through portraits of individuals and their haunting stories of war. Her other books include Dear Grinkers, a photographic series on diaspora, Six Days From Forty, an installation revolving around her brother’s life and his death from AIDS, and A Portrait of Audrey and All the Little Things, which considers her mother’s struggles with cancer and dementia in documentary and still life images. Her projects originate from the personal, but speak to our commonalities and the ephemeral transcendence of everyday experience. Grinker, for art school photography assignment, was shooting a project on young boxers under the guidance of the legendary trainer Cus D'Amato. Her main focus was a nine-year-old boxer Billy Hamm. While photographing him, Cus wandered over and asked why Lori was shooting Hamm, when the bigger kid in the corner working a speed bag would one day be the heavyweight champion of the world! The kid was a then 13-year-old Mike Tyson. Over the next decade Lori photographed the coterie that surrounded Mike; Cus's funeral, going home to Brownsville, old friends, trips abroad, in hotel suites before and after fights, his hook-up with Robin Givens, their wedding, their divorce, and the training and fights in between until Tyson's first defeat--the Buster Douglas fight in 1991. Joining me to discuss her books After War and Tyson is Lori Grinker.
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