Gay Block began photographing in 1973, making portraits of her mother and their affluent Jewish community in Houston. Her exploration of Jewish communities continued with portraits at Houston’s JCC swimming pool in 1981. In 1982, Block encountered and fell in love with the retired Jews of Miami’s South Beach, photographing for four years and producing color portraits as well as a celebrated video titled “A Bie Gesunt” (As Long as You’re Well).
Block’s landmark work with writer Malka Drucker, RESCUERS: Portraits of Moral Courage in the Holocaust, Holmes & Meier, 1992, is now in its 4th printing. The portraits, made in 1986-88, were exhibited internationally at over fifty venues, including Museum of Modern Art, NY, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and The Corcoran Gallery in Washington, DC.
Block’s visual autobiography of her mother, Bertha Alyce: Mother exPosed, UNM Press, 2003, contains an award-winning 24-minute video seen in over 25 film festivals. In 2006, Block completed are photographic project of the women photographed as camp girls in 1981, producing a series of black and white/ color diptychs and a 35-minute video, “Camp Girls.” Radius Books published a 2011 monograph of Block’s work: About Love: Photographs and Films 1973-2011, which contains over 200 images and 5 films on DVD.
Block’s photographs are collected by museums and private collections throughout the world including New York’s MoMA; The Museum of Fine Arts Houston; SFMoma.