Artist Statement - Lisette Otero-Lewis

Lisette Otero-Lewis Lisette Otero-Lewis

Artist Statement

Growing up in the United States, I have always felt a sense of cultural displacement as I navigated between my Puerto Rican heritage and the dominant American culture. My work aims to capture how this experience can be both disorienting and empowering.

I use a lyrical style, which combines elements of documentary photography with a more personal and emotional approach, to create both honest and evocative works. As a teenager, I did not see myself as Puerto Rican or Latina. However, as time goes by, I'm wrestling with the awareness that, while my roots are Puerto Rican, my upbringing in the United States has molded my habits toward a more American influence. I am part of Puerto Rico but an outsider; I am not an Islander; colonial Americanism dictates my being.

In every frame captured, I find a sense of grounding, a way to weave together the threads of my identity into a visual narrative that's uniquely mine. I blend the vibrant colors and timeless symbols of my heritage with the rhythms of my American upbringing. It's a process that's deeply personal, yet it speaks to a universal truth—the beauty and complexity of embracing multiple cultures. And as I share my photographs with others, I find a sense of connection, a reminder that I'm not alone in this journey. Together, through each image, we celebrate our shared experiences and forge bonds that transcend borders and boundaries.

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