Ron Jude photographed businessmen in the financial districts of Atlanta, Chicago, New York and San Francisco, capturing the subtleties, mood, fashion and visual language of corporate America in the early 90s
"I was in London in the summer of 1992 for an exhibition opening and I found myself sitting outside at a pub having a beer right around the time people were getting off work for the day. Before long I was surrounded by business-types, and they were all standing, drinking, with their backs to me. It was an odd enough situation that I took a few photographs of the looming figures. I completely forgot about the pictures for a couple of months until I had the film processed and made a contact sheet. The pictures that stood out were the two or three that I’d taken of the men’s backs. I was struck by the formal qualities of the images, but mostly by the ambiguity of how the men were represented. It felt like there was something in the pictures that could be broadened and investigated further. "
" I had just moved to Atlanta, and it was the first time I’d ever lived in a truly urban situation with a thriving financial center. I was living pretty poorly, and the world of money seemed very out of reach to me. I had every advantage one could possibly have—I was an educated white guy living in America—and yet, as someone who was raised in a rural, working class environment, these guys who were driving the economy and reaping the rewards seemed utterly foreign to me. I didn’t know who they were or what they were thinking. On one level I was one of them, but it felt more profoundly like they constituted a club to which I would never belong."