3641 - Tom and Dino Christ - Nick's Restaurant - Madison, WI (from the portfolio For Love and Money), 2011. Archival pigment print. 32 x 32 inches. Courtesy of the artist.

Hudson, WI


Carl Corey works in the tradition of fine art documentary photography, successfully merging the formal concerns of photography with the narrative content of cultural documentation. In his recent portfolio, For Love and Money, Corey focuses his lens on Wisconsin-based businesses, each of which has been family owned and operated for at least fifty years. This series captures proprietors or employees, who, placed prominently within the frame, are also pictured within the business itself: they pose on pleather seats and at Formica tables, proudly stand in front of rows of hanging sausages or stacks of cheese wheels. In straightforward compositions full of descriptive information, the photographs suggest a strong connection between the subject and his or her environment—elevating the genre of portraiture into a reflection on the pride of the American worker and the unique character of small businesses. In the series, Corey captures the spirit of these community establishments and the hard-working individuals who remain committed to their success.


Carl Corey was born in Chicago and moved to Wisconsin in 1994. He creates his tripod-based photographs using a Hasselblad camera with a high-resolution digital back. Corey works in a documentary style, with each series of photographs evolving from the previous project. He has exhibited widely in solo and group shows in the United States and abroad. His award-winning work has also been featured in several of photography's most prestigious periodicals. Corey's photographic projects have been the subject of several books including The Tavern League: A Portrait of the Wisconsin Tavern (The Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2011). His forthcoming book, For Love and Money: A Portrait of the Family Business, is due from the Wisconsin Historical Society Press in 2014.

Photo: 3505 - Carl Corey. (Courtesy of Kathy Borkowski).

Behind the Scenes

Carl Corey: Interview on PBS