All images were created with a large format camera using instant film. The scans of the negative or the print retain the original borders of the film. The statements are edited and condensed from interviews with each individual.
About Primary Colors:
This project aims to be an antidote to the 24-hour news machine, where subtlety does not exist and complex issues are addressed through stereotypes. Remove the campaign signs or t-shirts and it becomes difficult to tell where a person stands on the political spectrum. America’s binary party system is an imperfect method to define someone, and it fails to acknowledge how our intricate structure of beliefs adds up to create an ideology. It’s too easy to dismiss someone with a different viewpoint as ‘the other’ or even ‘the enemy’ before they are given a chance to explain why she or he sees the world differently. Americans live in a polarized nation: coastal elites vs. flyover states, immigrant vs. citizen, conservative vs. liberal. Every time we fail to honor the other side’s complexity and nuance, we drive each other farther apart. It is vital that we look ‘the other’ in the eye and come to understand their point of view. In an effort to encourage people to engage in this process, Primary Colors introduces you to a diverse group of Americans who share their hopes and fears for the country. Challenge the assumptions you make based on a person’s appearance: study the faces in these images and try to discern their beliefs. Do your impressions line up with their statements?