Justine Reyes: Vanitas

Terminal 2

October 2014 - November 2014

Justine Reyes: Vanitas

Photographer Justine Reyes investigates issues of identity, history, and the transitory nature of time in contemporary society. Reyes uses photography and installation to examine concepts relating to family, home, and humankind’s incessant attachment to the ephemeral and transitory. 

Vanitas, was inspired by seventeenth century Dutch vanitas paintings, which often contained religious and allegorical symbolism. Vanitas paintings illustrate the impermanent nature of life and the vanity of human activity. Reyes’ photographs incorporate personal artifacts within the traditional construct of still-life portraits. Pairing objects that belonged to her grandmother with her own possessions speak to the concepts of memory, familial legacy, and the relentless passing of time. By incorporating everyday items with the medium of photography itself, Reyes’ images manifest a deeper level of nostalgia and irony within the historical framework of vanitas paintings.

In 2000, Reyes received BFA from Syracuse University, and a MFA from San Francisco Art Institute in 2004. Reyes has exhibited her work nationally and internationally, including Proyecto Circo at the 8th Havana Biennial, Cuba, in 2003; Contemporary Istanbul, Turkey; the Queens International 4 at the Queens Museum of Art in 2009; and the Humble Arts Foundation’s 31 Women in the Photography in 2010. She was artist-in-residence at the Center for Photography at Woodstock, New York, in 2008, and a resident artist from 2009–10 at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Reyes lives and works in New York.

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