Dad on the Towmotor
Inkjet print, 2018
Collection of the artist
Daniel Centofanti’s photography draws attention to the working class. This portrait is part of his series that focuses on the Hynes steel fabrication plant in Youngstown, Ohio, where he, his grandfather, his father, and his brothers have worked.
Here, Centofanti’s father is shown operating a Towmotor forklift at 1:00 a.m. Because Hynes now
operates in a surveillance-heavy building, where management constantly observes the company’s workers, Centofanti recalled that his dad felt nervous when the photograph was taken. Reflecting upon his father’s work experiences, Centofanti writes: “Over the course of my life, I watched as my father went from having pride in his occupation to resenting his job. As twisted as the steel he produced, my dad watched the systemic devaluation of union labor under the forming neoliberal economy. It is through this shared sense of indignation as laborers that I create my work.”