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Work Samples

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Members of the Baltimore Ceasefire "smudge" a street corner, cleansing it with sage.

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A dance party breaks out at the anniversary of the Baltimore Ceasefire

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Blue, a 91-year-old gambler at Pimilico Racecourse, walks to the track every day since 1946.

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Industrial morning at the former Beth Steel plant in Sparrows Point

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About J. M.

Baltimore City

J.M. Giordano is an award-winning photojournalist based in Baltimore and co-host of the photojournalism podcast, 10 Frames Per Second. His work has been featured in American Photo magazine and his clients include The Wall St. Journal, Playboy, GQ, The Observer New Review Sunday Magazine, The Guardian, The Telegraph, Washington Post, The Baltimore City Paper, i-D Magazine, Discovery Channel Inc., Rolling-Stone, XLR8R. His work, from the Struggle series was at the Smithsonian Museum of African... more

Blue

During my coverage of the last Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course, I noticed a lot of elderly gamblers sitting and betting on the simulcasts. After watching them for awhile, I decided to track down the oldest continual gambler at the track. After showing during the week day after day, employees of the track, fellow gamblers, and guards all pointed to Park Heights resident 91-year-old Herbert "Blue" Case, who lives about a half-a-mile from the track and walks every day to place bets. Since returning from the Army in 1946, where he fought in Patton's army in Europe, Chase has been coming to Pimlico to play the races. He's a handicapper. For me, his portrait is a portrait of a track in crisis as it's been threatened with closing or moving, a neighborhood who depends on the track, and a man who has relies on Pimlico for social interaction and could be a metaphor for the track itself. This is a multi-media project with a short film coming soon.

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    Blue watches the races he's bet on at Pimilico
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    Herbert "Blue" Case has been coming to the track every day since 1946. Shown here in his apartment overlooking the track in Park Heights
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    Blue's eldest son lived in Texas and passed away in August. (see next photo)
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    Blue holds up a photo of his son's funeral, who passed away in Texas, which he could not attend.
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    Every day the track is open, Blue walks about a half mile from his apartment to the clubhouse. He's been making this walk for about 50 years.
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    Blue's long, lonely walk to the track.
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    Blue and his friend "Smokehound" cut it up and check their bets.
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    Blue's lucky penny is one given to him by his mother with his birth year, 1927, on it.
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    On a quick break in the smoking area from betting.
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    Watching the results

All For Thee This Day: The Fall of American Steel

With my series, All for Thee This Day: The Fall of American Steel, I've been documenting the decline of the American steel industry starting with Sparrow's Point for the past 14 years. The people are tied to the landscape and the landscape tied to steel for over a century. With the president's new tariffs, something Bush tried in 2002 to disastrous results, I've started to revisit steel towns and their residents and retirees. This series is unpublished and is an national project.
"These are they who build thy houses, weave thy raiment, win thy wheat, smooth the rugged, fill the barren, turn bitter to sweet. All for thee this day? and ever. What reward for them is meet?"-Morris, March of the Workers.

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    Steel Mill morning, 2009.
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    Pete, a retired steelworker at his social club, The Moose, in Baltimore.

J. M.'s Curated Collection

View J. M.'s favorite works from other Baker Artists