Gabriela Margarita De Jesus is a photographer primarily working in black & white film. Her ongoing body of work documents the childhood of her three younger brothers. In these, De Jesus uses the clutter and chaos of the home, as well as nature, to evoke imaginary and dreamlike spaces within the confines of the urban-domestic household. She recently completed her B.A. at Yale University. Her thesis work has been featured in PDN’s Photo Annual and the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center.
Why do you photograph on film?
Unlike digital images, that seem to be painstakingly forensic in their rendering of the world- using black & white film allows the pictures to focus the translation of tones, the quality of light, and the way in which skin is described. The medium forces the viewer to recognize that these elements now exist in a different space, perhaps a dream space- in which the picture surface becomes allegorical rather than literal.
What is your work about?
I photograph home as a place of origin. My subject matter deals with what is familiar and intimate: body, personal rituals, and the way we experience the passing of time. As a group the photographs begin to speak about my background, empathy with one’s kin, the closeness of a family, and the experience of childhood- but it is my hope that these photographs go beyond didactic description. They are not entirely documentary in style, it is a blend of fiction and biography.