Samantha Box:
Caribbean Dreams

August 29 – October 13, 2022
Kathleen O. Ellis Gallery

Catalogue and Print

Collect Caribbean Dreams exhibition catalogue, Contact Sheet 218

Transplant Family Portrait, 2020
Purchase signed limited-edition print

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Samantha Box’s new body of work, Caribbean Dreams, is a series of complex studio still lifes of personal, familial, and regionally-referenced objects, heirlooms, fruits, vegetables, and plants, onto which she collages family and vernacular images, fruit stickers, packaging, and receipts. A departure from earlier methods and subject matter, the constructed, experimental, and unpredictable compositions of Caribbean Dreams embody Box’s exploration of multiple diasporic Caribbean histories and identities.

In 2015, Box was a Light Work Artist-in-Residence. This occurred midway through the decade or so that her work focused on New York City’s queer, transgender and non-binary youth of color in a body of work she titled Invisible Archive. Now, Box has set aside her 35 mm camera and the photojournalistic style of that period for the methodical and deliberate view camera within studio space.

Box’s new methods pose an opportunity and dilemma: once you seize the freedom to create an image from scratch, where do you begin? With a new camera, family artifacts, and grocery store produce, she embarked on making tabletop still lifes. She cites seeing a forgotten fruit from her childhood, the soursop, in her local green market as what started her down the path of creating images in the studio. Present in all of Box’s constructions is her desire to see her Caribbean identity and history from as many angles as possible. Each new generation of images both invites and prods the viewer to consider the recurring objects with a fresh perspective.

Related Programming

An opening reception and artist talk with Samantha Box will be held on Thursday, September 1, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. in the Kathleen O. Ellis Gallery. Her exhibition catalog, Contact Sheet 218, and signed limited-edition fine print titled Transplant Family Portrait, 2020 will be available for purchase after the reception.

About the Artist

Samantha Box is a Jamaican-born, Bronx-based photographer. She has exhibited work at the DePaul Art Museum, Houston Center of Photography, the ICP Museum, and the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art. Box has been an Artist-in-Residence at both Center of Photography at Woodstock and Light Work. She received an MFA in Advanced Photographic Studies from the International Center of Photography/Bard College (2019) and a certificate in Photojournalism and Documentary Studies from the International Center of Photography (2006). She has twice received the NYFA Fellowship in Photography (2010 and 2022).