Few people know Brooklyn like Tom Roma does and he has traversed and photographed nearly every inch of it for six decades. Here he turns his attention on his favorite cars he's shot from 1973-1988.
Growing up in Brooklyn, we kids considered parked cars as part of the landscape. We'd hide behind and under them, and if the play involved a chase, felt free to hop up and run across a hood or a trunk to evade capture. Afterwards, when we were just hanging out, a fender would become the furniture in our open-air living room. But for the car's owners it was sometimes a different story -- a car and its parking place could become contested territory, and we'd be forced to move on if they exercised their right to it.
For the adults, cars were beasts of burden, pack animals harnessed for work. But for us, with names like Barracuda, Mustang, Falcon, and Impala, they were more like wildlife. As teenagers, before any of us had a license, we made a game of seeing who could be the first to call out the make, model and year of a car coming down the block. We'd all stare at it as it got closer and closer, and declare the winner as it passed by.
I never stopped staring at cars. These pictures were taken in Brooklyn from 1973 to 1988.
Thomas Roma: Twice the recipient of Guggenheim Fellowships and a New York State Council for the Arts Fellowship, Mr. Roma's work has appeared in one-person and group exhibitions internationally, including one-person shows with accompanying books at the Museum of Modern Art NY and the International Center of Photography. He has published 14 monographs to date and has taught photography since 1983, becoming the Director of Photography at Columbia University School of the Arts in 1996 where he is a Professor of Art. His work is in numerous collections, including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The Art Institute of Chicago; The Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and The Canadian Center for Architecture, Montreal.