Rene, 2012 by Alejandra Carles-Tolra
Contender Alejandra Carles-Tolra explores her fascination with the lives and homes of the Puerto Rican families that live near her in the Mission Hill neighborhood of Boston. Her photographs focus on particular details about these homes and their inhabitants. She clarifies in her statement:
Since moving to the Mission Hill neighborhood of Boston from my native Barcelona, I have gotten to know several Puerto Rican families who live nearby. As I began to build a relationship with them, I was welcomed into their homes and families. I have become interested in both the interiors of their apartments and in making their portraits. The spaces fascinate me because of their careful decoration. The families present their homes as glorious domestic spaces—even as the walls and woodwork show signs of long use. The use of golden furniture and shiny ornaments, as well as religious iconography, describes an intense relationship to religious belief. In the portraits, I am interested in personalities and relationships. While I learned about their stories and generational relationships, I began to attempt to photograph their characters and vibrant gestures. Throughout my visits I have been aiming to depict what has kept me mesmerized all these months.
The Throne, 2012 by Alejandra Carles-Tolra
The decoration given to their homes shows the reverence these families feel for their spaces. Religious motifs and grandiose coloring mix to show their exuberant heritage. The spaces also show heavy use. The walls, furniture and styling show nicks, dings, scrapes and wear in the loving way that something cherished does when it is used daily. Even the people photographed show such personality through their clothing, gestures and the stories revealed in their eyes.
The Siblings, 2012 by Alejandra Carles-Tolra
Alejandra Carles-Tolra received her BA in sociology from the University of Barcelona and expects an MFA in photography at Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2013. This summer Alejandra Carles-Tolra was featured on The Fence at Photoville. Carles-Tolra was born in Barcelona, Spain, and shoots with a Canon 5D.
Carmen, 2012 by Alejandra Carles-Tolra