WHEN ARE YOU FROM?
WHEN ARE YOU FROM is a photo-collage series that pays tribute to the diverse stories of the American people. These hand-crafted diptych portraits showcase individuals from varied backgrounds, adorned with their personal photos, revealing ancestry and aspirations.
Driven by a desire to reference the stories that we inherit, several years ago I began creating collaged portraits of subjects "wearing" reproductions their personal snapshots. During these shoots, my sitters often share family histories: secret half-siblings; a murdered family friend; a grandmother who escaped a convent under a silvery moon with her lover. I always try my best to listen, but these stories feel fragile, anchored only to exhaled breaths. To honor each act of storytelling, I create an accompanying piece — an imaginary site-specific "monument to shared stories" — to complete the diptych.
Stories are fleeting, stretching far beyond a single lifetime. If we could trace the oldest story back as far as possible, we would find a star. Stardust flows through our veins — the iron, oxygen, and carbon that comprise our bodies were forged long ago inside stars. We enter this world in a convergence of storylines and star-dusted bloodlines that have already stretched across all of time.