STEEL WORKERS

In “Steelworkers,” Juan Carlos Alom captures those fabricators who bring to life the dream of the artist Alexandre Arrechea to erect on Park Avenue monumental sculptures of some of New York’s most iconic buildings in warped positions, his homage to and playful critique of late capitalism. Alom’s timeless shots that undeniably wink at photographs of construction workers from the first half of the twentieth century in the same city often create a magical camouflage between individual and machine or individual and creation, suggesting that a unique essence might be found in such hybridity. But not always. Once in while, movement ceases to exist, and the rhythms of traditional portraiture take over. Consistent throughout, however, is the extent to which Alom’s multilayered portraits point to the beyond of what is visible. Through glimpses of such expressions as pride, pensiveness, timidity, and boldness, these portraits become the tool through which we can imagine our own narratives of these radically different individuals who convene to work with their hands and revolutionize the category of American laborers.

Jacqueline Loss