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The Family Portrait Project

Stafford Smith's avatar Stafford Smith

The Family Portrait Project is about the representation of the family and laying bare the consciously constructed reality inherent in all photographs. Rather than telling us anything about the family, the typical family portrait tends to hide narrative in order to blend in with societal expectations. It's really a construction that parents hope will be taken as proof they are doing a good job meeting those expectations. Those expectations have become a hot political topic about what a family is and who can have or create one. The reality is that families come in all kinds, shapes, colors and configurations flowering in an organic and diverse way unprecedented in history. I disrupt tradition by photographing each person separately and then collaging them into an image that is simultaneously familiar and unfamiliar. The portfolio then becomes a portrait of American families in this period of instability and change For ArtPrize I will exhibit portraits of Grand Rapids families.

Entry Details
  • Art form: 2-D
  • Depth: 1 inch
  • Medium: Photography
  • Width: 30 inches
  • Year created: 2015
  • Height: 20 inches