A child of the 1950s segregated South, Birney Imes embraced photography in part as a means to explore the social facets of the community from which he was withheld during his youth. Initially, Imes' subjects were the people themselves, the occupants of that unfamiliar culture. His subsequent photographs of local juke joints, however, in many ways address the culture more directly, as personified by the sites of its enactment. Ramshackle buildings, sparsely furnished, spontaneously decorated and accessorized with handwritten menus, advertisements and admonishments, take on an aggregate personality more vivid than any single customer.
Juke Joint Revisited