In the early ’90s, our personal work, the work we considered most important, garnered significant and welcome recognition. The photographs I’d been making of our family were included in several high-profile museum exhibitions and catalogs, a moment for me and the photo world when that type of work ceased being something to keep private. Not long after, a book of the work I had done in Alphabet City was published and widely praised. The commercial work I was doing interested me less and less, so I decided to stop taking assignments and focus instead on my own projects. I was a relative newcomer to museums and galleries, and I didn’t have a considered plan; I had the vague notion that I could get a teaching job with a big enough salary to support us, while I developed enough of an identity as an artist to start selling prints. I took a series of adjunct teaching jobs in the hope that each might lead to a more permanent gig and a steady paycheck, and I found that the students were great fun. The problem was, adjunct jobs paid shockingly little.

—Rock In A Landslide


Three of my photos were included in the Pleasures and Terrors of Domestic Comfort exhibition at MoMA, and in the catalog as well. The image above was selected by the press department for one of the advertisements for the show. That’s Eve on the right, playing Crazy Eights with one of our artist friends, and she’s peeking at cards.


The photo editor at a special business magazine at The New York Times agreed to say that I was working on a long term project for the paper if I contacted New York City light manufacturers to take pictures at their facilities.

Kelly Nowels