I discovered LaToya Ruby Frazier in my local museum last month. What a discovery! Frazier is from Braddock, a city located on the Rust Belt in industrial America. She was born in 1982 and studied photography as a teen. Back then, she was regularly taking photos of herself, her mum and her grandmother. That project turned up to become a series called “The Notion of Family”.
LaToya Ruby and her mom (left)
I was so inspired by her work, I visited the exhibition twice! I urge you to see her work for yourself >> her website. I didn’t feel like posting her photos on here… Anyway, the reason I was so touched by her work is because Frazier tells us the story of her family through the story of her hometown.
Frazier was inspired by various documentary photographers including Dorothea Lange and Gordon Parks. Braddock’s industrial background explains how the factories made most of its citizens sick and led them to poverty when the industry collapsed. Since she didn’t have a photo album of her as a baby, Frazier documented her family through the story of her city and vice versa. Without a doubt, this was the best photo exhibition I’ve been to!