Incorporating a mix of photojournalism with a traditional approach to street photography, this collection of photographs by Joe Longobardi is a personal journal documenting the more artistic, intimate, and sociopolitical side of street life in the heart of Asheville, North Carolina. Dubbed The Paris of the South; branded as The Cesspool of Sin; this small mountain city, landlocked in the heart of Appalachia, is an anomaly draped in paradox. Dichotomies and juxtapositions are intertwined. From the extremes of political and cultural divisions, to living statues and traditional bluegrass music performed on the sidewalks of a bustling town, the images presented in this collection are a glimpse into the soul of a city that is unified by its very diversity. The street performances and candid moments presented in this book are not mere examples of showcasing,but a way of life and personal expression. Daily living is transformed into an outlet for creativity; a blending of worldliness and childhood innocence void of the trappings of pretense, and where art itself is the very oxygen for life. These are people living their art and engaging in the art of living.
Since 2008, Joe Longobardi has been working professionally as a photographer in the Asheville area engaging in editorial, portrait, documentary, and street photography. He attended The Art Institute of Boston where he studied graphic design and Illustration. His photos have also appeared a number of publications and books including Our State Magazine (NC), F-Stop Magazine, and The Defibulators Songbook distributed by Mel Bay Publications. He is also a regular contributor to the Laurel of Asheville Magazine writing instructional articles on photography techniques featuring examples of his work. Exhibitions include the Black Mountain Center for the Arts; Southeast Gallery of Photographic Art, Vero Beach, Florida; CREGS Lens on Gender and Sexuality Exhibition, San Francisco, CA; Lenoir-Rhyne University; and The Front Gallery in the Asheville Art Museum; and The Mel Blowers Gallery at UNC Asheville under the title "Urban Photography from the Streets of a Bohemian Mountain Town"