The Prince and the Pauper
When I made this project I was in San Francisco, a new world that I admired but in which I felt I don’t belong. In order to find my feeling of belonging and to create a purpose that would help my mind overpass the alienation feeling, I started to spend time on the city's streets. Like me, other people are doing the same thing here but with different reasons and after a while their faces became familiar. I had a home but it was far away. They, which are called homeless, didn’t have one to return because of so many reasons.
The most valuable human possession might be one’s own image, yet homeless people lose control of this concurrently with the loss of a home. In this shelter-less context, their image degrades into a stereotype, one that evokes the concept of worthlessness. The images from “The Prince and the Pauper” show homeless people as they dream to become and as they want to be seen. In this way, the ownership of their image is revived.
The images from “The Prince and The Pauper” show homeless people as they dreamed to become, as they want to be seen, and in this way it is brought back the ownership of their image. For a better understanding I recorded the stories of the people I photographed, I began to have a personal dialog that gave me the context that I needed to understand more and that could not be found just in the portraits. A goal of my project is to show homelessness with an unlikely approach that tries to remove the misconceptions that a viewer might have about this issue.
What the viewer notices when confronted with my photos is the use of chiaroscuro and the theatrical employment of light and shadow that seems derived from Caravaggio. At first, looking with a descriptive eye, the images could be misinterpreted. But the unravel of the meaning brings along a great burden - the setting that is usually confiding great personalities is hiding in fact the relinquishment and bitterness that you can breath anywhere on San Francisco’s streets.