In the meantime, we are working on getting the complete body of work -- or at least a great part of it -- online. Stay tuned.
The work in this fourth major selection of photographs marks a strong departure from my previous projects, most of which were shot on black and white film and leaned heavily on portraiture.
Happyland explores the way people in these mostly-impoverished, post-war countries (and for that matter, everywhere) decorate or dress up sad, dark, places in order to make those environments livable. Many of the photographs were taken at a single brothel in San Salvador, where I spent weeks getting to know a very dark side of that city. It is, by far, the most powerful group of photographs I've ever made and plans are already in the works for exhibitions in the United States.
The photographs are richly colored but by no means stereotypical of color photography. Chicago curator Teresa J. Parker, who played an active role in choosing the project's 42 photographs out of some 300 I took, notes the influence of the French Nabi painters in the works and describes the project this way:
I'm going to offer sneak previews of the project, along with talks about the experience of making it, in a series of public events in which prints will be offered for sale. The first is set for Casa Roja in Guatemala City for the June 27th.We'll be booking similar events for Central America and the States and expect this novel form of sharing the work to last through the end of the year. Formal exhibitions are already in the works for 2013.
The pictures will be shown in public for the first time during a lecture at Casa Roja on June 27 in Guatemala City. Note: this will not be an exhibition but a slideshow and talk about the the project. The rest of this year will be spent showing the work in this form, along with more formal exhibitions. For booking information, get in touch.