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Todd Danforth

Portrait Of A Family

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I sat on the hospital bed beside my grandfather and watched as he took his dying breaths. Aunt Beth walked into the room and quietly sat next to me. She glanced at her father for a moment and then back to me. “Life is funny, huh?” she said.

I looked at her and then back to my grandfather. His cheeks were no longer full and his body almost lifeless. A machine beside his recliner supplied oxygen to his lungs and I could not help but imagine myself at age seventy-­‐eight. Will I have his wrinkles too, I thought? His head full of white hair, not a bald spot to be found. And then I began to wonder about our non-­‐physical characteristics and the similarities my aunts and uncles share with my grandparents.I began to think about his memories and accomplishments and what value those hold now that he remains helpless. Who will continue this legacy he began? Who will tell his story after he goes, because afterall, we are the only ones who can.

These family portraits tell the photographic journey that I began in pursuit to understand the emotional struggles that bond my family together. After my Grandmother’s passing in 2004, my Grandfather became the patriarch of the family; but more importantly he was the aging bond that weaved my family’s legacy. As time has it, nothing lasts forever-­‐ his illness worsened, his memory faded, and as I ushered a final farewell to my last semester of college, my Grandfather took his final breath.

This portfolio was created over a four year period from 2009-­‐2013. The subjects of the work are my family and it is photographed in Massachusetts. Some photographs were taken in Florida on a road trip we brought my Grandfather on in 2011. Some of the photographs were featured in a German typography publication Slanted.

 

Bio

Todd Danforth grew up along the West River in the heart of the Blackstone River Valley, the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution.

He was born into quite a large family with an astounding family history. His lineage can be traced back toJudge Thomas Danforth, the Deputy Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony from 1679-­‐1686, who also sat on the Superior Court sessions during the Salem Witch Trials. Todd’s current photographic work focuses primarily on family and the ties that bond these close relationships together.

He currently resides on the South Shore of Boston, Massachusetts and holds his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University.

 

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Todd Danforth

 

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Tom Chase, left, helped his uncle, Richard Filipelli, break down what remained of his home on Cozy Avenue in East Haven, Conn., Monday, after Tropical Storm Irene swept through the region. (Jesse Neider for The Wall Street Journal)


Jonathan Fey paddled his way down Nassau Avenue in Freeport, N.Y., after the storm flooded the neighborhood. (Joel Cairo for The Wall Street Journal)


Pam Young was one of the homeowners left cleaning up Irene’s mess in the Catskill Mountain town of Prattsville, N.Y. (Rob Bennett for The Wall Street Journal)


The streets of Paterson, N.J., were hood-deep in water from the Passaic River as Irene’s rainfall backed up streams and storm drains across much of the state. (Mark Dye/Reuters)


A large queue formed Tuesday morning at Ladurée, the newly opened Upper East Side outpost of the French bakery long lauded for its delicate cookies, jams, sorbets and candles. (Mustafah Abdulaziz for The Wall Street Journal )


Emily Season, right, rode her unicycle on the Brooklyn Bridge during a group unicycle ride to Coney Island during the 2011 NYC Unicycle Festival Friday. (Philip Montgomery for The Wall Street Journal)


Members of the National Guard convened at the Lexington Armory in Manhattan Monday to wrap up their work on the tropical storm. The guardsmen massed at several places in the city. (Daniella Zalcman for The Wall Street Journal)


Ironworker Gary Russo, also known as the ‘Second Avenue Sinatra,’ sang during his lunch break on East 73rd Street and Second Avenue in Manhattan Wednesday. After weeks at the Upper East Side location, he sang his last lunch concert Thursday before leaving for a new construction site. (Bryan Derballa for The Wall Street Journal)


The Blackberry Bramble is a popular cocktail at Silver Lining, 75 Murray St. in Tribeca. The speakeasy-style cocktail bar is aimed at jazz aficionados. (Lauren Lancaster for The Wall Street Journal)


Felix Camacho slid into third base during the Borough President’s Cup Little League Championship at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday. The Little League Raiders beat the Rolando Paulino Little League, 9-7, in nine innings. (Bryan Derballa for The Wall Street Journal)


James Fisher, left, released bees to find their queen and a new hive Monday in Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn; the swarm’s previous hive fell off of its tree. (Mustafah Abdulaziz for The Wall Street Journal)


The Tuna Duo, a dish including tuna tartar and ahi tuna, at Blue Water Seafood in Red Bank, N.J. (Bill Denver for the Wall Street Journal)


A large elm tree on Hicks Street in Brooklyn Heights was one of many trees brought down by the tropical storm Sunday. (Claudio Papapietro for The Wall Street Journal )


A Bronx teen, right, and Mark Colbert, a volunteer with the Stoked Mentoring Program through the non-profit Up2Us, prepared to enter the water for a surfing lesson at Rockaway Beach on Wednesday. (Philip Montgomery for The Wall Street Journal)


New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and State Sen. James Seward comforted Prattsville, N.Y., residents Emily and Richard Morse during a visit to the town on Wednesday. (Rob Bennett for The Wall Street Journal)


County Road 17 northeast of Route 23A in Greene County, New York, was washed out in the storm. (Rob Bennett for The Wall Street Journal)


Darren Renatta and his mother, Beth, investigated the flooding along the East River waterfront as the storm swooped in Sunday morning. (Rob Bennett for The Wall Street Journal)


People took part in a game of human chess at the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument in Riverside Park in Manhattan, as part of the ‘Summer on the Hudson’ events Thursday. (Philip Montgomery for The Wall Street Journal)

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Despite preparations by residents and tourists, Irene weakened from hurricane status to that of a tropical storm by the time it hit the New York region.

Michael and Lancs Walsh board up a friend’s house in Queens as Hurricane Irene made its way to New York, Saturday, Aug. 27. Some decided to pack up and head to safer and higher ground and others to wait it out. Residents of the lower-lying beach community were on evacuation orders as of 5pm Saturday evening. (Julie Platner for the Wall Street Journal)

Stephanie Munoz, 23, and her mother Celeste Miles walk along the beach to see the stormy ocean one last time before going back inside to wait out the impending hurricane in Queens, Aug. 27. (Julie Platner for the Wall Street Journal)

Jonathan Fey paddles his way down Nassau Ave in Freeport, N.Y., after Tropical Storm Irene flooded the neighborhood, Sunday, Aug. 28. (Joel Cairo for The Wall Street Journal)

Residents of Freeport make their way through the street Sunday. (Joel Cairo for the Wall Street Journal)

Pat Sterner stands in a few inches of water in her home after her Freeport neighborhood was flooded. (Joel Cairo for the Wall Street Journal)

A fallen tree blocks Bedford Avenue near North 12th Street in Brooklyn on the morning Tropical Storm Irene hit the city. (Mustafah Abdulaziz for The Wall Street Journal)

Flood waters overtake a gas station on 23rd Street and FDR Drive, Sunday, Aug. 28 in Manhattan. (Rob Bennett for The Wall Street Journal)

Darren Renatta and his mother, Beth, investigate East River flood waters Sunday. (Rob Bennett for The Wall Street Journal)

Peter Falsetta, 58, and Thomas Kim, 46, overlook the Upper Bay from near the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, Sunday morning, as the eye of Tropical Storm Irene was thought to passing over Coney Island. Kim has lived in Bay Ridge for 20 years, and Falsetta has spent his life here. Neither could recall seeing the water level so high. (Claudio Papapietro for The Wall Street Journal)

Glenn Sanchez of Tampa, Florida, plays softball in Times Square Sunday after the brunt of the storm had passed. Sanchez is a member of Elite Fire Softball, a team competing at the World Police and Fire Games 2011. The team’s Sunday game was postponed due to the storm. (Kate Lord/The Wall Street Journal)

Civilians take photos and videos of the New York Army National Guard 206th Military Police Company, based out of Latham, New York, as they leave New York City Aug. 28. The 206th arrived on the afternoon of Aug. 27 to help with Hurricane Irene damage, however the storm caused less damage than originally anticipated. The company was being moved to Farmingdale, New York, where they were going to regroup and receive new orders. (Andrew Burton for The Wall Street Journal)

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From Kids, Larry Clark

The Matter with Kids Today: Kids and Raised by Wolves

By Eric Margolis, Humanity & Society, Volume 20, Number 2, May 1996

You have seen their faces. In the core of every American city young kids wander the streets getting stoned, spare changing, fighting, scratching, and hanging out. They wear tribal badges: tattoos, camo clothes and skin heads,skateboards and phat pants

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