Maxine Helfman is a self taught photographer. While some discover their calling early in life, it was not her path. It was not until her mid-thirties that she discovered her creativity after finding her way into a store display job. That was followed by years of work in commercial photography as a set/prop stylist. She eventually began shooting still life, followed by portraiture and fashion for editorial and commercial assignments.
In 2012, she began to creating personal work with a focus on contemporary social issues of race and identity with a reference to history. The various series of portrait work are inspired by Flemish paintings. What at first appear to be simple images become layers of complexity. Her narrative studies are inspired by writers resembling a collection of short stories. In addition, she continues an ongoing study of images inspired by contemporary painters.
"I grew up during the civil rights era, and always found racial injustice unacceptable. But it seems that every decade, this injustice is just reshaped."
"My work comes from finding connections between past and present...it's my way of making sense of current events. "