Edit ModuleShow Tags

Jonathan Traviesa

by OLIVIA SMITH “There’s a certain violence to photography, a certain stealing,” says Jonathan Traviesa. “When someone whips out a camera, there’s immediately a whole new dynamic.” In his portraits, the artist continues, “I work hard to counteract that effect. I try to bring people to their more natural, unconscious selves.” In 1998, Traviesa embarked on what has become an ongoing project he loosely titles “environmental portraits.” Each of the square, black and white photos typically features a counter-culture type in their 20s or 30s (although some are older) outside their homes. “The exterior context—the buildings, back doors and porches that we live around —adds a sense of New Orleans,” Traviesa says. As a group, the portraits strike a balance between seeming natural and self-consciously performative. Like the best photography, what they communicate can’t be summed up in words. “They kind of are what they are,” says Traviesa. “Any-thing else I can say about them isn’t necessary.” A native of Lakeland, Fla., Traviesa moved to New Orleans in his early 20s. He studied with Richard Sexton at the New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts, and now works full-time as Sexton’s assistant. Traviesa’s work has another strain that is more idea-oriented, including a series about the dislocation of traveling abroad. “In my opinion you need a good balance between those two schools,” he says, meaning the conceptual and the more immediately accessible photography exemplified by his portraits. “The extreme of one without the other makes both irrelevant.” •

You Might Also Like

Jimmy Glickman’s Beat

Making the Music happen

Meet Zydeco Radio

A new generation of Lafayette musicians incorporates old-school grooves.

Louisianians of the Year

Burlesque

It's Not The Strip But The Tease

Moving Joan

The history of Joan of Arc’s statue in New Orleans

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Latest Posts

Get Ready for your Close Up

Add a backstage-style video element to your bridal session

Hello, Anxiety, My Old Friend

Winter Bridesmaid Trends

Your maids will shine in the cooler months with these top tips

Summer Eats

Dryades Public Market and Esses Pasta have a few must-have summer meals

Hangout Fest 2016 Review

The beach festival has hit its stride.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags