The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own.  I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before.  In this new revised thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find.  Please DO NOT send me your work.  I do not take submissions.

Today’s featured artist: Kris Davidson

PROJECT TITLE:  American Macondo

MEDIUM:  Giclée prints on archival matte paper.  Additional mixed media on select prints may include acrylic paint, gel medium, fabric, pencil, glitter, gold mica flakes and other found materials (most of the images are prints without mixed media).

SUMMARY:  American Macondo is a photography based project with selective mixed-media components that looks at the US/Mexico relationship through a magical realism filter, considering the role of cultural memory and imagination in process of Americanization.

STATEMENT:  Often when we think of migration, it is the physical distance traversed and the challenge of the journey that comes to mind. But for those who migrate, there is also an invisible, lingering landscape constructed of stories, shifting memories and imagined futures that unfold from generation to generation.  Americanization is not a clearly defined event with a discernible beginning and ending; rather, it is an abstract process that defies time and man-made international boundaries.

In imagining Americanization as a process that exists on both physical and non-physical planes, an aesthetic that borrows from the literary genre of magical realism makes sense; it allows for a bridge between the intangible and tangible. There is a strange, fleeting pain that comes with cultural change. It is an ache so subtle and profound that it might very well require a bit of magic to be understood.  After all, magic has inherent analgesic qualities. In leaving a land and a familial history, the immigrant splinters away from a predictable trajectory; it is the start of a curious process that continues in a wave-like manner with the immigrant’s children.

American Macondo is structured as a vaguely familiar journey narrative with a varied cast of characters in Mexico, the borderlands and in the US states bordering Mexico.  The project will be told in three acts tentatively titled La Migra (considering the borderlands and migrant experience), Strange Sueños (considering cultural memory of Mexico) and American Dreams (considering the later stages of Americanization). The final body of work will also incorporate a written component — an accounting of shared stories, memories and dreams collected in the course of photographic capture.

As an immigrant to the United States myself, it is my deep conviction that in order to effectively comment on Americanization, both the internal and external aspects of the process must captured.  As author Neil Gaiman tells us:  “People think dreams aren’t real just because they aren’t made of matter, of particles. Dreams are real. But they are made of viewpoints, of images, of memories and puns and lost hopes.” 

To see more of this project, click here.

To attend one of Kris’ workshops, get information here

APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s. After establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information because she believes that marketing should be driven by brand and not by specialty.  Follow her at @SuzanneSease.


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