Photo sculputure / Diversity and Indentity in America
For more than a year I photographed people living in Terre Haute, Indiana, who were originally from Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas. These portraits represent an ever-increasing change in the cultural diversity of our city. This shift of visual images is inspiring because of its rich multiethnic population. In more depth the diverse socio-economical and cultural backgrounds. This compilation of images has helped to show the changes produced by the phenomena of Globalization. Even small communities like Terre Haute are now looking wonderfully diverse. Recently more immigrants have moved into small cities looking for the “American Dream”.
When I started this book, which I called “Stone Faces”, I was experimenting in the darkroom with liquid emulsion, a hand applied photographic alternative material. In this process I found that I could create black and white photographic images on natural stones. Guided by the idea of “Photographic Sculpture”, a combination of photographically created portraits on stone emerged as an exciting way for me to make my own artistic statement. The images were printed on square, rectangular and broken scabos, onyxes, travertines and marbles.
Some of these portraits are attached to vertical, black, minimal structures creating the semblance of a stele. A stele is a stone column with carved images of deceased or living persons. These monuments are documents of diverse persons taking from there total context. The unique textures, colors and patterns of these stones intermingle with the images of the persons, thus giving meaning to their roots and boundaries. Each stone tells a story that the observer has to discover. Each person has been petrified in time as a work of art. And in some cases, as with the translucent green onyx, the stones can also be displayed against the light and viewed as stained glass giving the illusion of live stone faces.
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Kenyan woman stele wearing typical headdress and dress, 2009.