Wires, Beijing, China, 2012
Kris Graves (b. 1982, USA) creates photographs of landscapes and people to preserve memory. The images’ stillness cause the viewer to acknowledge the inevitability of change and the passage of time. Kris suspends his belief and knowledge of this change, not to document a moment or state, but rather to sustain it. He has a BFA from SUNY Purchase College and currently works as studio manager and photographer for the Guggenheim Museum. He has won the Juror’s selection for Center Forward at The Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, Colorado and has been exhibited widely across the United States. He has published four books of his photographs and operates a limited edition publishing company named Kris Graves Projects.
About the Photograph:
“I was born, raised, and reside in New York. In the summer of 2012, my girlfriend was studying abroad in China and I made a plan to visit on the backend of her trip. We decided to organize a trip that would have us visit Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing. Beijing is a congested, difficult city to navigate without a knowledge of the language and that was made even more difficult being a black man. I am convinced that black people are seldom seen in the city, I was followed, stereotyped, and stared at. I hope that this was more from ignorance then racism. Anyway, I always try to make the best of bad situations and said: I will photograph this place as well as I can and was lucky enough to make a few nice photographs. This photograph is common across the world, but the pure mass of wires stood out to me as a cultural signifier.”
“I consider myself a large-format photographer, but about a decade ago, I realized I also wanted the ability to walk 20 miles a day making photographs especially on vacation to places that I will most likely never see again. So I leave my view camera inside for portraiture and the occasional landscape within walking distance of my apartment. This photograph was taken with a DSLR. However, I still see in view camera format.”