These portraits of Brazilian domestic servants
confront both a master and a servant, two environments and two characters,
the world of reality and dreams. In many of the photographs it is as if
a dividing line has emerged, separating the two very different lives.
A sensitive and deep portrayal of the relations with respect to those being photographed emerged, although Balco's sense of humor, exaggeration, and even sarcasm are on display. The portraits impress with their dignity and are at the same time monumental. The selected photographs are connected to stories, acquainting us with two different worlds: the luxury of the middle class and the common Latin-American standard, often interwoven with compositions depicting life on the street. The detailed and severely posed en face portraits are compiled into triptychs where selected "work" surroundings supplement the confrontation fo the master and the servant.
The human stories in Domésticas are a sensitive record of the unseen work in private homes. The whole series is complemented by a dialogue between the author, the selected protagonists and us – the viewers. "With all of the portraits, I conducted a short interveiw in which I wanted to see how the different social classes and education were revealed in their perception of the fundamental questions of life. I used the following questions in order to do this: If you were to catch a golden fish that would grant you one wish, what would you wish for? And what does work mean to you?"
– Andrej Balco's series, Domésticas, won a special prize at Fotofestiwal 2009 the 8th International Festival of Photography in Lodz, Poland. Text reproduced by kind permission of Fotofestiwal 2009
In a great portrait, the subject holds a familiar presence as if we've known them for years—yet, at the same moment, we feel as if we are seeing this person for the very first time. Dig a little deeper with these portraits of Hungarian children and find these moments of connection.
Walking along the roads of East Africa, Indonesia, and Bolivia, men, women and children carry high stacks of plastic utensils, mountains of firewood, tins of water, food, the harvests of the fields atop their heads with impeccable balance.
This book of 260 color pages (brilliantly composed of photos from an aerial drone as well as countless photos from the ground on both sides of the fence) may well leave you speechless as you realize the extent to which this outrageously expensive technological, physical and psychological wall separates the United States from Mexico. One of our favorites from 2014.