SOCIAL DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHY
Life is a Contradiction
Juxtaposition is the placement of two contrasting elements in close relation of each other; at times, the placement of these two things together can emphasize the separate characteristics of each, in turn creating an even sharper contrast. They are the natural surprises in life, they are the things which cause our eye to look twice. It can be as simple as when the rain falls as the sun shines, sometimes known as a liquid sun, among other names. It can be as complex as man, the intrinsic benevolence and the societal inflicted malevolence. Whatever appearance the idea takes, juxtaposition is a natural notion and element of society. Without contrast, we would have a very limited way of communicating because to talk about something is to talk about it in relation to another.
To be entirely honest, it was difficult to choose my theme and then be able to stick to it. I went out each day with the intention of photographing something slightly different from the decision I swore I made the week before; however after reviewing the photos I had selected, my teacher and I had realized a common theme, and that was juxtaposition.
The following collection is an exploration of juxtaposition found in our urban society. The pieces may delineate any form of juxtaposition, whether it be a representation of the struggle between liberty and security or the relationship between dilapidation and development.
Art is peace for the mind
The media’s portrayal of Baltimore City is filled with hatred, violence, and loss, however; despite the negativity, artists uplift the community through beautification. Painters, graffiti artists, and graphic designers decorate the city with positivity. Artists and community members help brighten the spirits of neighborhoods and can also be messengers of change. The themes in many of these murals have a deep connection to experiences that many individuals can identify with. They inspire me through their ability to block the world out and focus on deeper meanings and messages.
Solitude In You
Solitude comes in many shapes and forms, to only bring one representation to the fore front is a dishonor. There is nothing more powerful than a changed mind, solitude is a device used to achieve that state. This may come foreign to some, believing that one is just “alone”, such a primitive thought process. Within this variety, I wish to convey enough to have you reevaluate your view of solitude as an outsider looking in.
Place yourself in both the mindset and position of the portrait, how would you feel? Therefore, one can experience those whisperless winds of thought, as if Gandhi blessed you with enlightenment. Solitude can help you find something others can’t, yourself. It may look like sadness, but I ensure you, it’s a lifestyle where self peace isn’t a foreign unknown entity.
Believe in the Beauty of Baltimore
When you think about Baltimore what is the first thing that comes to mind, riots, protesting, violence, murders, trash or the homeless? There are so many stereotypical things associated with the city. Baltimore is a city of many facets. Urban street art shows the beauty, the complexities and captures the stories that contradict the negative stereotypes associated with the city.
Originally, I wanted to focus on how the community is thriving within the city. I started looking around Red Emma’s on North Avenue because it was an active section where most people hang out, grab a bite, and even relax and watch the day go by. I noticed many large murals as I walked around. That was the moment I knew that I wanted to photograph the murals that make this city look appealing to the eyes of people so that they may see past the stereotypes and focus less on the negativity.
“In that place, where they tore the nightshade and blackberry patches from their roots to make room for the Medallion City Course, there was once a neighborhood. It stood in the hills above the valley town of Medallion and spread all the way to the river. It is called the suburbs now, but when black people lived there it was called the Bottom.”
—Toni Morrison, Sula
Dichotomies can be found throughout Baltimore's Station North Arts District. The contrast between various textures within the neighborhood tell the story of rehabilitation vs decay and construction vs the destruction in this newly proclaimed hot spot in the heart of the city.
1.retrieve or recover (something previously lost, given, or paid); obtain the return of.
Synonyms: recoup, salvage, repossess, and regain
My work is focused on the process of the intersection between nature and man-made creations. I am intrigued by the ways in which nature breaks through our arbitrary urban boundaries and establishes its ownership without human invitation to do so. Nature has the capability to bring a luminescence feeling where one would not be present in an urban landscape.
Gender is a state or feeling, rather than a permanent being. There is a great fascination in the temperate nature of gender, so much more than the solid understanding of a biological sex. It’s something that can be identified with, expressed, or portrayed.
Within this series, I am focusing on gender and sexuality, as well as the perceived notions of these subjects. I photographed a myriad of different items, hoping that it would reveal a hidden gender identity. By way of capturing line (straight, curved), forms (slight, blocky), and even color, this series of photographs conveys how humans are apt to project a gender on an object based upon visual cues or perception. Through these elements the femininity, masculinity, or dual gender become evident in many objects, scenes, and structures.
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