Internationally recognized photographer John Sevigny comes to Western New York for the first time with an evening of photography and storytelling called Visions of Central America 6:30 p.m. December 2 at El Buen Amigo, a fair trade store in Buffalo’s Allentown neighborhood.
Sevigny has spent more than 15 years photographing the good, bad and ugly in Mexico, Guatemala, and El Salvador. At no small risk he has penetrated gang, drug, and human trafficking subcultures and brought back photographs of worlds that would otherwise go unseen. His work, which straddles a gray area between fine art and documentary photography, is frequently described as dark, sad and beautiful but is most often difficult to place in a box.
“It’s difficult to sell something that you can’t easily label but I think that the strength of the work comes from the fact that it can’t be categorized,” he said in a recent interview.
However described, his photographs are always empathetic and center on people and their stories.
“One of the strengths of Sevigny’s work is his manner of photographing people,” the Wisconsin Gazette said of his 2016 exhibition, “Tropicalismo” at the Latino Arts Cultural Center in Milwaukee.
“Regardless of their surroundings, whether sprawled on a tattered couch on the pavement or secluded in a dark interior room, something has been chosen in that photographed moment. They are lifted out of the flotsam and jetsam of the everyday grind, calling out to the essential dignity of each person.”
Sevigny has had more than 50 solo exhibitions in the United States, Latin America and Europe and has given talks at schools and institutions including Pratt Institute and the School of Visual Arts in New York; the Minneapolis Photo Center; La Fototeca in Monterrey, Mexico. His most recent collection of photographs, La Fiesta Brava, was shown in September in Miami, the artist’s home town.
The talk will be followed by a question and answer session and work by the photographer will be available for purchase. Proceeds from sales benefit the Latin American Cultural Association in Buffalo. For more information or to schedule an interview write to Carmen Rodriguez at email@example.com
. Learn more about John Sevigny here.