Lies My Father Told Me

Two years ago at an obscure Long Island restaurant, I was introduced to a sister I didn’t know I had. At four years old she was brought up from South America to live with my father in the States. She spoke no English and I spoke very little Spanish. She had my name and resembled me in a way that placed me in my childhood seventeen years earlier. With my grasp on the situation spiraling out of control, I turned to photography to process and control my emotions.

Feelings of isolation and alienation surface throughout the images, as they serve as documentations of my father’s new family. The gritty aesthetic of the black and white film highlight the tension and silent unease that filled the space between our budding relationships. Blocks of negative space represent immense dark voids that signaled the shadow of a life I would never know again, as well as the unfamiliar territory I waded through. Acceptance was a hard knot that settled in my stomach with my camera being the only tool capable of voicing my dissension.

The project began with anger and contempt unjustly placed at times on my sister who bore the fault of another’s offense. However, it soon allowed me to engage in a larger discourse as themes such as loss, betrayal and innocence characterized the photographs.

As I ponder over the implications of the work, I hope the audience may be able to draw strength from the photographs and see the work as a conduit to begin to contemplate their own experiences.