Artist Prolfile: L.J. Goldstein

The spark of artistic inspiration can be an ephemeral thing, difficult to describe and sometimes impossible to pinpoint. But for photographer L.J. Goldstein, the experience was quite different and came heralded by thumping sousaphones; a chorus of trombones; and a whirlwind of color, style and verve coursing right beneath his bedroom window in the Tremé.

It was a second line parade, an example of the century-old African- American street tradition in New Orleans, and Goldstein was enthralled from his first encounter.
“I had no idea about it at first,” says Goldstein, who moved here from New York in 1993. “I had seen pictures, but I thought that was all something from the past.”
Soon, Goldstein began taking his own pictures. And as his knowledge grew about the social aid and pleasure clubs that host such parades and his own involvement with them deepened, he produced some of the most intimate and evocative photos of this culture in motion.

Goldstein has extensive archives of his work, hundreds and hundreds of negatives from the second line parades, jazz funerals and Mardi Gras Indian gatherings of the 1990s and first years of this century.

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