THE LATINO LIST, Portraits by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders
August 18, 2011, 5:59 am
Filed under: Exhibition, Photography

So I was away from Citywide for a while traveling the world and I got back about a month ago, eager to sit down and get into people’s art with them. I’d never had a chance to work with The Brooklyn Museum so I decided to check out their programming. It was the first time I’d really tuned in to The Brooklyn Museum’s website and I found myself turned on by virtually everything they had going on.  The Brooklyn Museum is very good about collaborating with ideologically progressive artists and involving the community in its mission to bring the public to new artists and mediums. This is in addition to an expansive historical collection. Two upcoming exhibitions immediately caught my eye browsing The Brooklyn Museum’s programming and I contacted both for interviews. One was called Raw/Cooked. It is a show about and featuring Brooklyn Art. You’ll see more of it on Citywide in the coming weeks. The other show is called The Latino List and I have to tell you some things about it.

The Latino List is composed of portraits photographed by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders featuring prominent cultural and political figures of Latin descent.  Faces ranging from Supreme Court Judge Sonya Sotomayor to Hip-hop artist Pitbull. Timothy embarked on The Latino List following the impact he made with a previous series of portraits of prominent African-American figures called The Black List, which eventually turned in to a three-volume HBO series. The Latino List will also be accompanied by a corresponding documentary on HBO airing in September. In the interview, Timothy discusses his intention to photograph more series of ‘lists’ that will encompass various cultural identities.

It almost seems as thoughTimothy is trying to systematically catalog a grand picture of the society he has personally lived through by capturing the individuals he sees making up society by categorizing them through their identity and the societal role they play. This is evident throughout the course of his career. One project that Timothy is known for (and which he discusses in the interview) is his long term photo series called Art World consisting of some 700 portraits of individuals involved somehow in some sort of art to the extent that, earlier today while talking to a video-artist Neil Goldberg (who I hope to have on the show in the next coming weeks), I mentioned that I’d recently interviewed Timothy Greenfield-Sanders and Neil remembered when he was  photographed by Timothy early on in his career.

It is instances such as these and also each photo itself that makes you realize that even though you are looking at still photography, the pictures you see are anything but static. Timothy’s photos of iconic and influential people represent both the result and the lead-in to a complex, unpredictable, and extraordinary cultural discourse. Viewing his photography, we see people we may have known our whole lives without having distilled what they represent to their more basic contexts. We see a more clear significance as people in reality and not social constructions that pop up in our media.

The Latino List opens at the Brooklyn Museum on August 19th. The Black List will be on view at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. starting October 28th I’ll make sure I keep you apprised on Timothy’s future work.

Here’s the interview-


Lucas Green

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