Recent Portrait Work
Above and below are two photographs in a new diptych. The images express the myopia many Americans share when they perceive of people different from those of European or African ancestry that they are used to interacting with (granted, white Americans have another sort of myopic vision when it comes to black Americans, but that’s a separate topic for a later time). Regin is the man depicted, and both pictures show him with his beautiful family. Regin and his family are from Kurdistan, which is a nation without a state existing inside the borders of Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey. In either picture a potential truth is shown, and it is up to the viewer to decide how much reality (if any) exists in either image.
Although Regin, his wife, and son are Muslim, the garments that they wear in the top image have more of a cultural association than a religious one. That said, for many people from the Middle East and elsewhere, religion and culture are synonymous; a problem arises when Americans (and others) superficially connotate specious or intransigent aspects of a culture or even a religious sect with an entire people.