I am proposing to exhibit the (ongoing) work submitted here. Sentiment is a personal narrative that explores the multiple dimensions of identity formed by the merging of two cultures and its impact on my life as a gay man. While this project is very personal, it speaks to universal understandings of love and pain that transcend continents, gender and sexuality.
Sentiment is an exorcism of sorts; it chronicles a struggle to surface from, and release, panic, regret, fear and loss. Eight years ago I moved from Peru to the US and fell deeply in love with a man; I let him define me. My relationship became a catalyst for accessing a new way of making photographs, a tool to address and understand my own identity as a man. For years I photographed my personal life exclusively, until one night my lover of many years walked out unexpectedly and never came back.
My work changed dramatically, and suddenly I found myself tapping into feelings that I never knew existed within me. These images represent my struggle to surface as I fight to reconstruct a life without the very thing I thought defined it. Just as I once escaped my motherland to pursue a foreign one, I now find myself escaping something foreign in me in hopes of a full exorcism.
While these photographs chronicle a very personal journey, showing them in the gallery will bring continued attention to the normalcy of emotions that unite us as people, regardless of gender or sexuality. As Washington State prepares to introduce a marriage equality bill, it seems fitting for me to share my work and story as one small reminder that we are all human beings.