​​Lilian Caruana Photography 

About Me

My roots are in documentary photography and the central theme of my photographic work is about individuals who are outside the mainstream of the larger society.  Some of the subjects I have photographed include immigrants, punks, skinheads, and gang members.  I explore how individuals who, either by choice or because they are seen as the “other” live outside the dominant culture. My goal is to capture how individuals shape their identity, fend off alienation, and give voice to their own existence. This theme comes out of my own experience as an immigrant, trying to negotiate my identity as an Italian-American.

For my project documenting New York’s East Village community of punks and skinheads in the  1980s, I wanted to look beyond their exoticism—their ragged, torn, and slashed clothing, hardware jewelry of safety pins, studs, chains, shaved heads, mohawks, or spiked haircuts, and their body tattoos.  I wanted to learn more about who they were and what they believed in and photographed them at hardcore performances at the legendary punk rock club, CBGB, and then followed them to where they lived, as squatters in abandoned tenement buildings in the East Village. 




2016. Rebels: Punks and Skinheads of New York's East Village, Free Turtledove Press


2019  Spider Awards [Honorable Mention]

​2018  Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown [Television Documentary] 

2018  Shooting on Margins of the Society with Lilian Caruana, Single Shot Interview Program

2018  Lucid Culture

2017  Yesterday Is Today: Punks and Skinheads of New York's East Village, Staf Magazine Interview

2017  Eye of Photography

2010  Photo Exhibit Ushers 80s LES Punk Revival, METRO Newspaper

2012  Let Fury Have the Hour [documentary film]  

1991  If You Lived Here,  Dia Art Foundation 

1988  Muslim Vigilantes, Blitz Magazine  

1988  Hardcore Skinheads,  Blitz Magazine  

1987  Ethnic Guide to Queens, published by the Queens Council on the Arts  (Photographs of religious shrines in

             Italian neighborhoods) 

1987  The Italian Americans by Allon Schoener, Macmillan Press 

1986-87 Traditional Italian Music, Global Village Music, NYC 

1978  Joy of Sects, Omaha Magazine 

1976  Illini Papers –Federally funded Bicentennial Publication, Chicago, Illinois


2019  X Gallery, New York 

2015  Davis Orton and Griffin Museum of Photography, Massachusetts 

2010  Calandra Italian American Institute  (one person show) New York

1998-99  8 Million Stories Exhibit,  New York Public Library 

1989  Zoller Gallery, Pennsylvania University 

1988  Midtown Y Gallery, New York 

1987  Bruce Gallery, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania

1986  The Midtown Photographic Gallery, New York 

1985  Hechscher Museum, Long Island, New York 

Photographic Collections

New York Public Library’s Print Collection

Brooklyn Museum’s Permanent Collection

Mayor's Voluntary Action Committee Collection

Curatorial Work​

1978  The Woman's Eye:  Women in Photography Symposium and ExhibitWestern Heritage Museum,

    Omaha, Nebraska

Conceived and curated a photographic exhibit and symposium on the contributions of women to the history and the art of photography.  Symposium explored the question of women's unique photographic vision via lectures, movies, workshops and performance of Freshwater, Virginia Wolf's play about her great aunt, Julia Margaret Cameron.  Exhibit included juried exhibition of photographs by Nebraska women photographers as well as photographs from the Sheldon Museum's collection in Lincoln, Nebraska.

1985  People Helping People ExhibitTweed Gallery, New York, New York

Curated photographic exhibit commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Mayor's Voluntary Action Committee.  The exhibit's mission was to highlight contributions historically made by volunteers in tackling a variety of social problems, including public advocacy, civil rights, literacy, homelessness, AIDS, etc.   

Grants Received

Nebraska Committee for the Humanities -1979

University of Nebraska - 1978