The Power of the Powerless
DESCRIPTIONIn my work, I am inquiring about the problematic and subjective notion of power by altering the historical role of portraits in society. For centuries, portraiture was used as a method for the bourgeoisie to demonstrate their wealth and success through the use of extravagant decorations and garments. My intention in this series is to deconstruct the representation of power and opulence.
These photographs respond to the need to portray ordinary people of Cuba. The models, apparently dressing in sumptuous costumes were using regular objects found in their homes such as curtains, table covers, bedspreads, plastic bags, clothes pegs, and stainless steel scouring pads. The photographs ironically recreate what power means by using repurposed objects to depict minorities (people in conditions of poverty, with special needs, from different genders and races).
This series is about the uncertainty of what real power means and who has it. It presents critical issues that tend to remain silent. It is about repurposing the meaning of power and constructing hope. The hope to be, the hope to succeed, and the hope of being remembered.
AUTHORCarlos Gamez de Francisco (b.1987, Holguin, Cuba) lives and works in Prospect, KY. He has received numerous awards including the Fine Art Photographer of the Year at Moscow International Photo Awards, the Honorable Mention at International Color Awards and Tokio International Photo Awards; the Museum Guild Purchase Award at Evansville Museum; the SAIC Distinguished Scholarship at The Art Institute of Chicago; the Key to the City of Louisville by Mayor Greg Fischer; and the “Dreammakers” Artist in Residence at Muhammad Ali Center. He has had solo shows at 21c Museum, Bentonville, AR; Kenise Barnes Fine Art, Larchmont, NY, Hardcore Art Contemporary Space, Miami, FL; Muhammad Ali Museum, Louisville, KY; and the Colonial Museum of Fine Arts, Havana. Gamez de Francisco is represented in the collections of the 21c Museum, Louisville, KY; the Fashion Resource Center at The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL; the Cubaocho Museum & Performing Arts Center, Miami, FL; and the Louisville Metro Hall, Louisville, KY.