ME: Portland

 “Winnowing”, circa 1991, gelatin silver print, 11 x 14 inches, Courtesy of VoxPhotographs, © David Brooks Stess.

WHERE: Portland Museum of Art.

WHEN: On view through May 19, 2013.

TITLE: Blueberry Rakers: Photographs by David Brooks Stess

BRIEF ABOUT: By focusing his camera on the hard realities of manual labor and the relationships among the workers raking alongside Native American Mainers and migrant field hands from south of US borders, Stess brings an unsentimental view to his subjects.

“Both” (Self-Portrait While Shaving), circa 1999, gelatin silver print, 14 x 11 inches, Courtesy of VoxPhotographs, © David Brooks Stess.

“Both” (Self-Portrait While Shaving), circa 1999, gelatin silver print, 14 x 11 inches, Courtesy of VoxPhotographs, © David Brooks Stess.

    This exhibition, which is part of the Circa Series featuring the work of Maine’s best contemporary artists, consists of 50 gelatin silver prints whereas Stess has spent more than two decades photographing the annual blueberry harvest in northern Maine. His images capture the physical aspects of their labor, as well as their social life in workers’ camps at the edge of the fields.

About: Born in New Jersey and raised in Florida, David Brooks Stess (www.davidbrooksstess.com) attended the University of Miami where he studied history, film, and photography. From states with large migrant agricultural communities, Stess eventually carried their concerns with him first to New York City and eventually to New England, where he supports his photography career with seasonal work raking blueberries, picking apples, and selling Christmas trees. Stess’s documentary work is informed by this first-hand experience, as well as a deep admiration for the photographs of Josef Koudelka, who lived with Europe’s nomadic gypsies, and Danny Lyon, who rode his motorcycle alongside America’s biker gangs.

MORE DETAILS: Call 207.775.6148 or www.portlandmuseum.org.




Published by on April 2013. Filed under Archives, At the Museums dept, Maine, Palette News Arts Network/PNAN, PaletteBoards Section. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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