In December 2008 I embarked on a two-month trip to India that began in the south and trekked north to Nepal. Like many travelers who visit India from the West, it was a life-changing experience, particularly considering the capitalistically driven lifestyle that Westerners live -- focused on money, commerce, things.
I had the pleasure of staying with various families during my travels, and I couldn't help but notice that, despite living in one of the poorest regions of the world, they seemed much happier than the families I'd known in the West. I was also struck by their sense of welcoming and humanity, happily surprised at how they took me in for weeks at a time, providing food and shelter without question. They treated me as if I was their own child, and I in turn, felt like family to them.
I wanted to celebrate their beauty and compassion through my portraiture. My hope was to capture their elegance as in a painting, as if I had painted them. I generally only took one or two images per subject before I felt I got what I wanted. Their characters shone through immediately.
Most of the subjects in this exhibit had never seen themselves in a photograph. My hope is that when viewing these images a universal sense of humanity shines through.
about the artist
Karolina Wojtasik was born in Warsaw, Poland. In 1986, at the age of four, she moved with her family to New York. She first picked up a camera when she was 13 years old. In fact, she made her first camera: a pinhole made out of an oatmeal box. After developing her first image, she spent the majority of her junior and high school years in the red glow of the darkroom. She studied at the University of Albany and then at the International Center of Photography. Karolina presently resides in Brooklyn, NY. She shoots professionally within the world of advertising and continues on her personal journey of documentary work.