Courtesy Jono Rotman
  • San Francisco-based photographer Jono Rotman has regularly returned to his native New Zealand over the last eight years to photograph members of the Mighty Mongrel Mob, regarded as the country’s most notorious gang. In a statement to ABC News, Rotman said he has traveled the country extensively for his project, “Mongrel Mob Portraits,” providing him unprecedented access to the inner life and workings of a culture that operates on the margins of society. To see more of his work check out:http://www.jonorotman.com/
    Courtesy Jono Rotman
  • Jono Rotman said he had no intention to glorify, gloss over or excuse negative aspects of the Mongrel Mob legacy with his photography – his focus was on the men as unique individuals and as cultural artifacts, products of the forces that made them.
    Courtesy Jono Rotman
  • “Gangs hold a mirror to the forces that have made modern New Zealand,” Rotman said in a statement to ABC News. “Members typically come from backgrounds of violence and difficulty. They have had rough lives, and, in turn, have tended to revisit that trauma on others. However, their core values include many things that society lauds—commitment, perseverance, resilience, loyalty.”
    Courtesy Jono Rotman
  • Jono Rotman used a large-format camera and a plain background for the photographs. He said he used available light and did not style, pose or direct his subjects.
    Courtesy Jono Rotman
  • Jono Rotman's photographs were shot on location, often at the homes or clubs of his subjects.
    Courtesy Jono Rotman
  • "What I found were a people for whom the Mob is family. I’ve been treated with great hospitality and I’ve come to regard some as friends," photographer Jono Rotman said.
    Courtesy Jono Rotman
  • The photographs, Jono Rotman said, presents the subjects counter to the ways they are normally seen, through mugshots and surveillance camera footage that focuses on criminality.
    Courtesy Jono Rotman
  • "Mongrel Mob Portraits" follows an earlier series by Jono Rotman, "Lockups (1995-2005)," in which Rotman photographed the interiors of prisons and psychiatric hospitals.
    Courtesy Jono Rotman
  • The Mob contains “impressive individuals and genuine leaders, "photographer Jono Rotman said. "Growing up, I was taught to respect rags-to-riches stories. What I have seen in the Mob is an equivalent dynamic, but writ in the development of character rather than the gaining of wealth.”
    Courtesy Jono Rotman
  • Courtesy Jono Rotman
  • Courtesy Jono Rotman
  • Courtesy Jono Rotman
  • Courtesy Jono Rotman
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