Tribes: Lucia Herrero
Going to the beach can be like going to an alternate universe, nothing like our real lives at home. We go there for mini-vacations, in order to escape our Monday through Friday work-week. At the beach, you grab your spot in the sand and it becomes your territory, your home for the day; and yet, it is very public. It is a place where nothing is hidden; everything you do is out in the open. It is a great place to study people and how they interact. You can see the different groups, all having staked out their spaces, and try to pick out families versus friends versus church groups. Why are they there? Is it to celebrate a special occasion? Or, is it simply because they want to get away? Spanish photographer Lucia Herrero found herself fascinated by this very thing and turned it into a portrait project, which she calls Tribes. Herrero shoots in a style she calls “Antropología Fantástica,” (fantastical anthropology), basically meaning her work is an observation of human behavior. In Tribes, though the portraits look like they have been shot on a constructed set, Herrero makes them all on location, lit using natural light and a 1000-watt strobe. The photographs become anthropological studies, spotlighting these families (both literally and metaphorically) as bare and vulnerable, yet also honest and strong; as though whatever comes, they are ready to stick together.