I was born and raised in Brooklyn, and I still live at home with my family.
WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO THE BFA PHOTOGRAPHY PROGRAM AT PARSONS AND HOW’S IT GOING SO FAR?
Parsons was my dream school. I remember coming here on a field trip when I was a freshman in high school, and getting a tour of the 10th floor labs. I saw students who were working on things I’d never seen before, and they wanted to be here. In my high school “Art,” was just a required elective no one wanted. I was attracted to desires to create and be innovative that are fostered here. It’s been great. I can’t see myself anywhere else.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CLASS AND WHY?
My favorite class has been Documentary Strategies with Vincent Cianni. It was a great platform to collaborate with other artists, and come together to provide a service to amplify the voices of others. We worked with a local Not-for-Profit organization, and provided them with materials to reach more people with their messages.
HOW DID YOU BECOME INTERESTED IN PHOTOGRAPHY?
I started using photography as reference tool for drawings, and then I was creating photographs that I was responding to more than my drawings, and before I knew it, I was thinking photographically and making work I loved.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN TEN YEARS? WHAT ARE YOUR PRIMARY GOALS?
In 10 years I see myself teaching art to children and helping them find their creative voices. When I was younger, it was my art teachers who provided me with the support I needed to make art and be proud of what I was making. I hope to one day be that source of guidance for a growing artist.
WHAT KINDS OF THINGS SPARK YOUR IDEAS?
My photographs are driven by a desire to be honest. My personal work is inspired by the relationships in my life, and is intended to represent them in the most authentic way possible. I create photographs as a way to honor the moments I share with the people in my life. I tend to focus on the themes of Hispanic culture, specifically Puerto Rico and my sexuality. When working in a more editorial sense, I try to work within the realm of race and representation, and work primarily with people of color in my shoots. I hope to one day create a publication that provides a source of inspiration for other Artists of color who don’t feel represented in our popular media.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU AS AN ARTIST? AND WHAT ARTISTS HAVE INFLUENCED YOU THE MOST?
I’m most often inspired by the people and places in my life. I’ve looked to my family and my home as the jumping board for many of my bodies of work. I’ve been influenced the most by Duane Michals, Nan Goldin, Nicholas Nixon, Sophie Calle and Felix Gonzalez-Torres. They all use “truth” in some regard to drive the work they make, and I hope to one day be included in the same conversation that their work has created.