Despite the deeply individualistic values of American culture, many workers—even those crucial to our collective social and economic development—can become invisible in the structure and scale of bureaucracy. The massive systems composing our social and material infrastructures have a tendency to mask the labor of the individuals supporting them. Who is teaching our children, or delivering our mail? As an act of recognition and celebration, this project uses portraiture to visualize the people whose livelihoods serve their community. 

Whitebox is a portrait series about the role of the individual within systems of labor, and the medium of portraiture itself. These compositions seek to formalize the portrait while situating each subject in their workplace. By referencing studio iconography, these environmental portraits place visual emphasis on the worker, simultaneously making visible the conventions of portraiture and contextualizing individual labor.
Click on an image to enlarge.

Steven, a middle-school teacher in Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY

Busola, a nurse in midtown Manhattan, NY

Mark, a letter carrier at USPS Cooper Station in the East Village, NY

Janelle, a librarian at the Crown Heights branch of the Brooklyn Public Library, NY

Wilton, a parking attendant in Manhattan's Flatiron district, NY

Wally, owner of a dry cleaning business in the Bronx, NY

Riley, a thrift store employee in Red Hook, Brooklyn, NY

Debrina, a thrift store employee in Red Hook, Brooklyn, NY

Bryan, a thrift store employee in Red Hook, Brooklyn, NY

Zoe, a thrift store employee in Red Hook, Brooklyn, NY

Chris, a thrift store employee in Red Hook, Brooklyn, NY

PJ, a farmer's market employee in lower Manhattan, NY



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