Tropical Fantasy (2012)
A series of contemporary "daguerreotypes" made with image transfers on mirrored plexiglass. The images featured here are from the photographic archives of African-American youth curated by W.E.B. DuBois for the Paris Exposition in 1900. DuBois' archive was meant to counteract the negative stereotypes held in the public mind about black Americans.
My reinterpretation of the work sees the images fade and erode, expressing a pessimism and disbelief in the success of DuBois’ objective. The title and varying color of each portrait references a popular soft drink sold in “bodegas” (convenience stores) across the United States and once rumored to be used in the sterilization of black and brown urban populations. The "Tropical Fantasy" branding can be seen in the first two B&W images (combination prints) which were the first made in this series.