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- Beads on a String: Extended Portraits
- When I was first introduced to photography, I was mainly drawn to landscape imagery. I enjoyed being a solitary spectator. Over time, inclusions of figurative elements became more and more apparent in my work. I purposefully began to incorporate a figure into my landscapes, ascribing to it a certain nostalgia and a sense of isolation I was experiencing on many levels at that time. Before long, I felt disconnected from these images because of their ambiguity and generalization. I found myself craving more content and personal commitment in my photography. At the end 2003, I started experimenting with a 4" x 5" format camera, which forced me, to some extent, to change my way of photographing and seeing. That is how the beginning of this new body of work was born. I was accustomed to shooting with a 35 mm camera, which allowed me to be spontaneous, quick and immediate. I permanently switched to a large format. I could see myself benefiting from this change. I lost some of the spontaneity that a 35 mm format offers but I gained the beauty of working with larger negatives and the endless possibilities of view camera movements. Thanks to this technical transformation, I began to develop new ideas. I tried to focus on what truly mattered to me, initially stripped from any necessary relationships among the images. I photographed pieces of time and space, filled with an emotional and psychological charge. More figurative elements kept reappearing and soon dominated my subject matter completely. My motives became utterly wrapped around human values and the differences that distinguish each of us from one another.
- Experiencing the view.
- This article discusses the way people experience the landscape. Tracing the progress of landscape photography from the late nineteenth century to the present, the author introduces the way concepts in landscape photography have changed. The author's photographs are discussed regarding how they build on the foundation of this historical precedent. Using photographs of individuals at places they think are special, the author examines their perception of landscape. The positions and actions of the subjects shape the way their attitudes are conveyed. The concept of beauty is discussed as it relates to the appreciation of landscape. By discussing with the subjects why these places are special and photographing with the intent to convey what those reasons are, the author's photographs examine the relationship of people to the landscape.
- From Inside the Home: A Portrait of Mexican Immigrant Women
- For the past two years my artwork has focused on the cultural issues of a Mexican immigrant community in Fort Worth, Texas. The primary focus has been women and the way in which their homes reflect their blending of two cultures. The occupants of the homes are people that I know personally, including my immediate and extended family as well as friends of my family. Undocumented women usually have the most difficulty in adjusting. Although some do work outside of the home, many of these women spend countless hours inside due to their inability to speak English or drive. These women have little hope of returning to their homeland because their children are being raised in the United States. In order to feel more at home, the women make every effort to re-create the Mexican culture in their new houses. Thus, acculturation takes place with very little cultural loss. Instead of previous strategies of total assimilation, these women blend the two cultures, making it easier to adjust to their new lives.
- Industrial Landscapes: Humanity Coexisting with Nature
- The focus of this project was on creating images of our industrial landscape and shows the coexistence of culture and nature. I confronted the landscape from a position that is accepting of our present landscape. While not idealizing the present industrial landscape I wanted to depict it in a way that is not devoid of beauty. I believe that no matter how the land is altered a certain grace still comes through in any landscape. In not idealizing or criticizing I wanted to show industrial areas in an accepting light and reveal the grace and beauty that is within every landscape. It is through my photographs and all the subjective decisions made when creating these images that make it possible for others to see the beauty in these industrial landscapes.
- Issues of Interpersonal Bonds
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In this work, sections of bodies are joined with sections of other people's bodies in order to form a new whole. Adding or subtracting relationships can many times be uncomfortable and strange, which I depict in my invented individuals based on the phases of family, such as birth, death, marriage, divorce, and the acquisition of new forms of family. This work questions issues of the family in terms of its definition, whether biologically or culturally constructed. I am creating hybrids by separating body parts from the whole and then recombining them to form a new individual. These images are a result of thinking about the possibilities and changes that people go through as a result of the new growth or loss of relationships. This work is intended to bring awareness to the way in which people relate and families become more blended.
- Realismo Magico Digital: An Exploration of Self-Identity
- The internal necessity to rediscover myself constantly drives me back to the country where I spent most of my life, Mexico. I was born and raised in the heart of the world's largest metropolis, Mexico City and through the years I have photographed in locations with important significance for Mexican culture as well as for my personal history. I reorganize and reinvent these places, and by staging models there, I construct my personal interpretation of the Mexican way of life involving the world of “manana” (tomorrow) with its “dictadura perfecta” (perfect dictatorship), where opposite and contradictory situations exist side by side. I am particularly interested in the relationship between people and their environ-ment and I use this theme as a means to explore my own identity as a Mexican. One strategy involves juxtaposing cultural signifiers of Mexican culture. My images are an examination and a projection of my ideals, fears, and dreams about my country and myself.
- Where I am From, Finding My Identity Through Visualizing Memories
- This article discusses about the author’s identity related to the experience of being in the United States for one third of his life, and away from his native country, Japan. He uses photographic images as a tool for finding his identity. Those images are combined and painted with paraffin wax as finished pieces. The extra layer of wax on the photographic surface is treated as a metaphor for the fuzziness of memories and dreams, as well as a boundary, which lies between author’s two familiar spaces, the United States and Japan. His visual influences are shown to include photographer Henri Cartier- Bresson, painter Giorgio de Chirico, and sculptor Alberto Giacometti.