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Janine Mapurunga

Janine looks for moments that are un-mistakenly human, those universal emotions we can all relate with. She is interested in that which is easily felt but so very difficult to portray: the aliveness of the human spirit. She observes life unfolding and uses the camera to collect those rare glimpses of human grace that can be seen with the naked eye.

The emotional component in her work stems from her personal history. She was raised by my grandmother around chickens, parrots, and a wood-burning stove. Growing up in this enchanted environment carved a deeply connective, soft spot in her heart. Janine has been drawn to the photography medium from the time her grandma gave her, her first camera at age ten. A small black box that could record life!

The bodies of work of many photographers who came before her are undeniable inspirations for the images she creates today. She is drawn to the American Documentary Photography Tradition (W. Eugene Smith, Mary Ellen Mark, Bruce Davidson, and Richard Avedon), Classic African Portraiture (Seydou Keïta, Malick Sidibé, and Samuel Fosso), what she deems Magical Realism in Photography (Diane Arbus, Graciela Iturbide, and Tiago Santana), the “decisive moment” tradition of Street Photography spearheaded by Henri Cartier-Bresson, and the playfully unexpected Portraiture of Duane Michals.

Her heart is set on creating photographs that tell stories from a compelling, intimate point of view.

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