Jose Picayo has had success on both ends of the spectrum as a photographer. One is where you earn your bread and butter which is in the world of fashion. Shooting covers, advertisements of beautiful men and women for the latest fashion magazine. The other is using your love and skills of photography as an art form.
Last night, at the Robin Rice Gallery, was the opening of Picayo’s latest installation. This is truly an installation and one that should be seen. He has taken over the past six months mug shots of friends, family and extended friends with an old Polaroid camera. The results are fascinating.
He made each model write a one page blurb about
themselves including their ancestry, if they knew it. There is a small glass cabinet at the front of the exhibit highlighting 6 people and their pages. Similar to old historical shows that you might see at Ellis Island. Then the entire room is filled with hundreds of photos which are reminiscent of mug shots. One shot face forward, the other a side profile.
What comes through in each of these photos is ancestry. The myriad of faces that live in NYC. Asians, Israelis, African-Americans and of course many mixed from racial to different parts of the world.
A brilliant idea. Some museum should pick this up. A wonderful exhibit today and a wonderful exhibit 40 years from now. Jose spoke and met every person he photographed. It is pretty impressive and listening to him talk about it is quite cool.
If you get a chance, go see it. One of the most fresh and interesting exhibits I have seen in quite awhile.