Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Jesusa Vargas reviews Darcy Padilla

Darcy Padilla is an American photographer and taught photography at the San Francisco Art Institute. Her long-term photography projects focus on contemporary issues in a documentary and photojournalistic approach. Darcy has received awards from the Guggenheim Fellowship, Getty Images Grant, and many others. According to her website, Darcy is currently living in San Francisco and a member of the Agence Vu in Paris. Agence Vu is a photography agency that produces and sells books, photographs, holds exhibitions and has its own gallery.

I came across Darcy's photographic series called Family Love (1993-2014) through Her photographs are published in this book that tells a true personal story of a young mother with HIV and homeless. I found this images portraying a fragile and intimate story of this person's struggle and pain through black and white imagery.

I feel the monochromatic approach makes these photographs less distracting and allows us to dial in to the subject matter within the composition, the people and environment. The dark contrasts within the shadows and natural light highlighting the subject in the photos establish the mood of the situation being presented. Darcy documents this person's personal life and death without holding back the gritty and nasty details. The images appear to be taken as the events unfold with little, if any, direction from the photographer. Even though the main character, Julie, is the focus in the series, the photographer includes important people that come in and out of Julie's life. The photographer includes a small view of the other person and hints to the part they play in Julie's life.

I invite you to take time to read through the captions of this collection that Darcy has that highlight the social issues surrounding HIV.

Julie falls ill. She refuses to eat. Julie makes a grand effort to say what might be her final words to her family as she lies in hospice care. © Darcy Padilla / Agence VU'

Place: Palmer. Case number: 10-92362. Type: Natural Death. On September 27, 2010, at approximately 7:02 AM, the Alaska State Police received a call from Palmer. Investigation revealed Julie Baird, aged 36, local resident, to have died, from natural causes. The family was present at the time of death. No criminal act is suspected. The corpse has been left for the family. © Darcy Padilla / Agence VU'

Julie is now 24. She met Jason at a rehab center. He is 22 and also HIV positive. Julie and Jason have been condemned to 9 months in prison for endangering their children. © Darcy Padilla / Agence VU'

No comments:

Post a Comment