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 was born in 1948 in Detroit, Michigan. He received a BFA in photography from the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit in 1974. In 1977 he established a photography studio, and his commercial clients include such companies as Crate and Barrel, Kraft, and Starbucks. Jordano returned to making pictures for himself in 2001, and quickly gained attention as an emerging artist. He was awarded honorable mention in the Houston Center for Photography Long Term Fellowship Project in 2003, and third place in the Piezography Archives National Photography Competition a year later. The Museum of Contemporary Photography accepted him into the Midwest Photographers Project in 2002 for a portfolio of black-and-white industrial landscapes of Chicago and northwest Indiana, and in 2004 on the strength of the Simple Faith series. His pictures are in several private and corporate collections, including Federal Reserve Bank, Chicago. Jordano lives and works in Chicago.