Titled Passenger, this photography series documents individuals walking across New York City's Grand Central Station.
The original impetus for these foundational works was exclusively aesthetic, my focus being placed on documenting how the soft light of Grand Central Station renders an impression of the individual's body and facial expressions. I was experimenting with how to calibrate both camera and lens to imitate the brush strokes of [art] painting techniques and to do so in a way that could maximize a painterly effect during the re-coloring in post-production.
However, because these photographs are primary source documents, I was also interested in investigating whether any of the socioeconomic class, culture, power, and agency of the individuals could be visually inferred. As a Latin American immigrant, I have been made painfully aware that public space exerts an unseen set of repressive edicts that dictate whether I am allowed access to a location or not, or under which circumstances or caveats. In the U.S., who you are, where you come from, and what you look like shapes your access to public space, to inclusion, to power, to knowledge, to every aspect of life. Here is a sampling of "who" has access through this great colossal hall on a random day of the week. While I took pains to maximize objectivity in the selection process during production, what stood out for me after the series was completed was the "who" is not in the series because they had no "access" to this space.
I am deeply drawn by the idea of documenting individuals who utilize a location in an effort to create site-specific visual ethnographies of place that can tell someone a thousand years from now "who" was walking through Grand Central Station at the beginning of the 21st Century. My fascination with sculpture and paintings from the Maya, and ancient Greece and Egypt have informed this investigation. As those cultures portrayed individuals from those epochs, I strive to portray individuals from my time, albeit less so representationally, because I am using equipment that captures a facsimile of their physical body [and potentially] of their psyche.
To maximize objectivity in selecting who was photographed, I used ideas extrapolated from [dance choreographer] Merce Cunningham's chance method.
* * *
Series Title: Passenger Medium: Photography
Image Size of first half of series: 40 x 32 in - 101.6 x 81.2 cm
Image Size of second half of series: 72 x 57.6 in - 182.8 x 146.3 cm
See each artwork for details
Edition of 3 + 1AP (AP not for sale)
Prints are titled, dated, numbered, and signed on verso. Certificate of authenticity will be provided.
* * *
For inquiries, please contact me at:
Email: email@example.com Tel: 347.772.9370 in New York City