About the Photographer
It is this idiosyncratic vernacular that each pastor creates for the churches that I am so drawn towards.
— Dave Jordano, February 2005
Dave Jordano first began photographing Chicago's African American storefront churches in 2003. He travels the city each weekend, getting to know parishioners and pastors, slowly building the kind of relationships that make the pictures in his Simple Faith series so nuanced and intimate. High resolution digital capture renders in meticulous detail the hand-lettered signs, donated furniture, and religious icons that give each church its character. While Jordano has a deep respect for the culture and people he photographs, is mindful of the history and traditions of these churches and their special place in the African American experience, his pictures are meant as more than mere records. "Without political motivation or social commentary," he says, "this is more a personal journey of self-examination, cross cultural discovery and maturity."
Dave Jordano completed a BFA in photography from the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit in 1974. In 1977 he established a photography studio in Chicago, shooting major print campaigns for national advertising agencies. Jordano’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in museums and galleries, including the Chicago Cultural Center; Michael Mazzeo Gallery, New York; the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design; the Detroit Institute of Arts; and the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto Canada. In 2015 Jordano was awarded the Canadian AIMIA AGO prize for photography. Recent publications of Jordano’s work include Articles of Faith: African-American Community Churches of Chicago (2009), Detroit: Unbroken down (2015), and A Detroit Nocturne (2018). His work is held in several permanent collections, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Library of Congress, Washington D.C., and the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL.