the catharsis of beth | © preston lewis thomas
"There is a girl in New York City
Who calls herself the human trampoline
And sometimes when I'm falling, flying
Or tumbling in turmoil I say
Oh, so this is what she means..."
-Paul Simon | Graceland
obamaja of wicker park | © preston lewis thomas
I learn that he was once a choir boy and that he went to school with the famous, and reportedly vicious Chicago mobster, Anthony Spilotro. “Man, they had white shag carpet in the basement! I’d be afraid to come in, but Tony would say ‘don’t worry about that shit’.”
janeiro wants a tall blonde | © preston lewis thomas
Morning at the cafe, I see him sitting with his guitar and picking through various Blues riffs. He looks as though he could have been on tour with Hendrix. I ask for his photograph and he says "Sure. But what I really want is a tall blonde. You know what I mean?" I did.
Alex in the kitchen | © preston lewis thomas
Evening in Corosh, a now defunct bar that used to be a favorite haunt of mine. She walks by in a beautiful red velvet dress, and I can see the very top of a killer tattoo. "I would love to photograph that" I say. She turns to face me, cool as can be and gives me a better view. "Sure. Here's my number..."
The Expectant ballerina | © preston lewis thomas
Maan Almodovar a former professional Ballerina is presently an amazing Ballet Teacher. Somewhere along the way she managed to get herself knocked up by her husband, Genuel. Fine. Here she is doing one of several "pregnant pictures" as only a Ballerina can.
in his father's uniform | © preston lewis thomas
He was sitting alone on the edge of a concrete flowerpot on a busy street. Perfect posture and enigmatic expression on his face. I asked to make his photograph and he nodded OK, then simply said "This was my Father's uniform..."
monica nia goes to the prom | © preston lewis thomas
Monica Nia on the day of her Senior Prom. She asked specifically for me to make her photographs, which nearly gave her Mom a stroke. Cellphone pictures were out of the question. Daughters, I get it. For the duration I felt as though I was shooting someone much older... 50's Hollywood Glamor.
randy | © preston lewis thomas
The life of an Artist is a hustle like no other. He won a Jeff Award: Outstanding Actor in a Principal Role for the play "A Steady Rain." The producers took the play to Broadway and promptly gave the roles to Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig. What the fuck are you gonna do? From one Hustler to another, damn.
tamarra in the afternoon | © preston lewis thomas
This Mother, Professor, Writer, native California girl and fellow Jack Daniel's aficionado, making plans to put Chicago in the rearview mirror and turn the page. That's the way it goes sometimes... and sometimes it's time to go. In celebration of her newfound freedom, she decided to get in front of my camera. We did more talking than shooting, I finally had to enforce a silence "timeout". Friends.
not my president | © preston lewis thomas
The look on her face says it all. She is not having any of it. And while protests continue in my city and around the world, it's important to remember that 53% of white women in the United States voted for a racist misogynist sexual assaulter by the name of Donald J. Trump.
If at anytime they would like to explain, this Sister and I are listening...