Leon Barber-Artist Statement
Since I made the transition from film to digital photography, my photographs have taken a dark, morbid look. I have always loved to add some humor to my work so I’m always sure to include something that will make the viewer chuckle or at least smile. I often use lyrics for my favorite band “Tool” to come up with ideas, and that, almost always, leads to images that portray subject that show my interests.
Combining ideas from Tool lyrics with my own sense of morbidity leads me to think of ideas that some times end up not being what I initially though of but certainly describe me as a person. Although one would not think surrealism when viewing my images, they do tend to hang on the edge of surrealism.
Although most of my photography fits the above description, I can often step away from that format and complete a series on remote villages in other countries. While visiting Bolivia and Perú, I completed a series titled Faces of South America. In this series, I photographed as many children as I could find and presented them as the happy, innocent creature they are. By using bright colors juxtaposed against lush foliage and bright blue skies, the viewer got a true sense of how happy children can be no matter how poor or how limited their resources might be.
Even though each project may vary widely in subject matter, they all tie into each other because I am alway thinking of the last project and next project while I am shooting the current one. By using this technique, I am able to maintain the consistency I have become known for.
*You must be signed into Flickr to view these images*
In the pas 8 months, I have been photographing black women who choose to wear their hair naturally. The purpose of this project is to present my subjects as symbols of beauty with out using clothing or accessories to distract from the real focus, their hair and their skin.
The aim for this project is present large photographs of black women with natural hair in their bare essence. To describe these women, I will refrain from using words like strong, independent and enduring and instead I will use words like graceful, delicate and elegant, showing the latter description through the photographs. Although there is nothing wrong with a strong woman, I feel it is a term that is grossly overused in our culture.