Pin It

Cheryl Gerber’s photographs of New Orleans bring the dichotomy of the city to life 

Cheryl Gerber has been photographing for Gambit since 1994, when a photo essay she did on the gutter punks of lower Decatur Street appeared in these pages. "I'll never forget the day that I walked into the then-PJ's on Frenchmen Street and saw a policeman reading the story in Gambit," Gerber says. "He looked at me, not knowing that it was my story, and said, 'This is the best thing I've seen in a long time.' From that moment, I wanted to tell stories about people in New Orleans."

Double take
Double take Double take Double take Double take Double take Double take Double take Double take

Double take

Click to View 18 slides

  Her new book, New Orleans: Life and Death in the Big Easy, tells those stories by juxtaposing photographs of the city, creating an effect that's sometimes humorous, sometimes jarring, sometimes tragic. She contrasts a murder victim dead on a Central City sidewalk with a drunk passed out on a French Quarter sidewalk. A woman being pepper-sprayed by police at a demonstration contorts her body in the same way another woman dances at the Maple Leaf Bar. The famous Ernie K-Doe mannequin sits jauntily in the Mother-in-Law Lounge — in the same position socialite Mickey Easterling sits embalmed at her own funeral, cigarette and Champagne flute in her hands.

  Gerber is a New Orleans native, and the original title of the book was New Orleans: I Love You, I Hate You. "When I start to rant about all the ills of New Orleans, some ask why I stay. I've asked myself that question a million times," Gerber says. "And the answer is the people. I simply love people, especially New Orleanians. Even in our darkest days, we pull together and rejoice in being here. Together — black, white, rich, poor, gay, straight, young and old. I think that's what makes New Orleans so special. We celebrate life and death like nowhere in the world.

  "And I will never run out of things to photograph."

Pin It


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Submit an event Jump to date

Latest in News

More by Kevin Allman

© 2017 Gambit
Powered by Foundation