I created this body of work my senior year of high school, when I first started exploring photography as a narrative. Five years prior, I reconnected with my Grandfather who lived out in California and planned yearly visits. Each time I was there, he would show me these YUGE photo albums of my relatives from Europe, making sure to explain each and every photo. I adored him and those albums, hence why he showed them to me each time I was there.
In the midst of applying to college, I got a lot of constructive critique on having good technique, but not yet using my skill to tell a story.
Unfortunately, my Grandfather passed away that year, and I had the honor of inheriting his photo albums. I scanned a bunch of them and started to juxtapose them onto images I had already taken. This first image here was my "ah-ha" moment. It is an image of my great-grandparents in who knows where, but the image below was one I took at Castle Island in Boston a couple years prior. I noticed how everything in the image lined up perfectly... the cement & brick foreground to the lake and line of trees in the background. I knew there had to be some sort of connection between the past and my present at the time.
This project is an exploration of my cultural identity in hopes to gain knowledge and understanding of my distant relatives who feel closer than ever through art. It also inspired me to think of my photography as art therapy, for it helped me cope with my Grandfather's passing.
I'll end this statement with a quote from him: "Live each day the best you can... live the moment... prove to the world you still got it... strut your stuff and puff your puff because you ain't seen nothing yet." -Robert Weil