Natali Sabina Bravo-Barbee (born, Córdoba, Argentina) creates works that bridge the boundaries of photography and installation sculpture. Bravo-Barbee continues to document the world around her via photography, as she has since the age of fifteen. She incorporates alternative processes such as cyanotype into her practice to explore the range of what is possible within her image-based practice.
The artist merges the personal with the political in her practice.She uncovers lived memories of her family's flight from Argentina in her childhood while simultaneously investigating postcolonial and feminist topics. Bravo-Barbee holds an MFA from City College, CUNY and a BA, Studio Art from Hunter College, CUNY. She lives and works in Queens, New York and actively participates on the steering committee of the Southeast Queens Artist Alliance (SEQAA). Her works have been exhibited at York College Fine Art Gallery, Mattatuck Museum, Flushing Townhall, Queens Botanical Garden and Light Art Space.
BEHIND THE LENS
My installation artwork exists at the intersection of photography and sculpture. This hybridity of forms aligns with nostalgic and playful currents running through my practice. My work also carefully considers texture, as texture triggers powerful memories in my work. This texture is an integral trigger for self-determined identity, stemming from geographical and political situations and rooted in personal histories. Cyanotypes created using relics from my own personal history make two-dimensional records of three-dimensional objects, embedding the legacy of the object into the two-dimensional representation. My work in instant photography also takes the immediacy of the moment as a fabric for interpreting our environments.Instant photography can alleviate the feeling of longing for a finished product, the latent image revealing itself in mere seconds. Thus, my practice spans lived histories and the immediacy of the moment, capturing vivid truths latent within the everyday.
The transformative influence memory has on identity is a key theme in my work. The camera acts as a primary tool for retaining and interpreting memories. A process-oriented photographer, my work is a combination of digital, analog and alternative process photography. As an American citizen who arrived to this country as an immigrant, it is crucial for me to capture memories and to narrate lost time visually through photography. This stems from my efforts to revive discarded and forgotten objects from my family's past. These impulses influence my work as an experimental photographer: my portrayal of photography breaks free of the black frame and border and morphs into an object, inviting the viewer to interact.