Eres Muy Hermosa
Eres Muy Hermosa
Baxter St at the Camera Club of New York is pleased to present Eres Muy Hermosa, a solo exhibition of work by photographer Daniel Ramos. The presentation comprises eight large-scale portraits of working-class people in Monterrey, Mexico, and shines a light on people who are routinely overlooked or regularly go unnoticed. Displayed together in Baxter St’s Project Space (128 Baxter St New York, NY), which visitors regularly use as a place to work, connect, and contemplate, the large-scale portraits create an immersive feel, enveloping visitors as they inhabit the space. Eres Muy Hermosa will be on view September 09 – December 02, 2023.
The Mid-career, Lens-based Artists Initiative is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, and the William Talbott Hillman Foundation.
Throughout 2018, Ramos took various portraits of residents of Monterrey, Mexico, always photographing at night using a 4×5 view camera, black and white film, and studio strobes. Ramos sets his photographs in social meeting places such as bars and restaurants, casting ordinary surroundings as sites of vibrant and multidimensional life. For many of Ramos’ subjects, these photographs are the first they have of themselves, and present an opportunity to show themselves as they would like to be seen, rather than being defined as part of a faceless mass.
Ramos sees each of his subjects as close representations of his own cultural and socioeconomic background; at the same time, he emphasizes the individuality and personal integrity of his subjects, so as to reject pervasive and damaging stereotypes of Hispanic working-class people. Having grown up in both Chicago and Nuevo Leon, Mexico, Ramos offers both a subjectivity and an objectivity to his portraits that is both intimate and balanced. He approaches ideas about social and economic class head-on, breaking his subjects free of its associations and inviting viewers to do the same. As Dawoud Bey states in his text on Ramos in Contact Sheet #217, published by Light Work, “These pictures remind us the gulf between us is narrower than some believe, and those consigned to our margins live lives as rich, complex, and deeply human as any.”
Daniel Ramos was born and raised in Pilsen, a Mexican-American neighborhood in Chicago, and spent his summers with his grandmother in Lampazos De Naranjo, a small town in Nuevo Leon, Mexico. He began his career in photography while working at Sloan Valve during his college years, the same company that had employed his father for 39 years. Ramos began photographing his co-workers and has since built a body of work that focuses on class, culture, and identity. In 2003 Ramos received a BA in Photography from Columbia College, Chicago, and in 2006-2007, studied for an MFA in Photography from California College of the Arts in San Francisco. His work has been exhibited nationally at venues including Foto Forum, Santa Fe, NM; Philadelphia Photo Arts Center in Philadelphia, PA; Houston Center of Photography, in Houston, TX; and The Center of Photography in Woodstock, NY, where he also completed a 2018 Artist Residency Program, among many others. He has been the recipient of numerous fellowships, awards, and residencies, most recently receiving the 2022 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship in Photography. This fall he will be a fellow in the Whitney Museum’s 2023-2024 Independent Study Program.