My work highlights underrepresented communities and people in the United States. Interested in their historical significance, I use portraiture, still lifes and landscapes to visualize a poetic view of a place people call home. Focusing on dignity, pride, and unity I’m engaged in creating counter-narratives to offset those with an overpowering amount of despair. Outside of the narrative framework, portraiture is the weight of my visual identity in self-driven and commissioned work. I’m interested in making portraits a collaborative process that provides people the space to be themselves while guiding them with uncomplicated gestures. Inspired by society’s fondness for notable figures I photograph people who aren’t often in the spotlight of mainstream media with a relatable sense of grace.
I feel like I’m sticking my head out --along with many photographers of color making editorial and commercial work-- to be judged unfairly by decision-makers when speaking publicly in a push for more opportunities. All while many of our white colleagues sit in the shadows fearing the same criticism yet profit from our culture more than we’re able to.
JUSTIN J. WEE
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