Family photographs often portray generations of people, years apart, in the same location – by the same house, the same street, the same tree. They are almost always photographs that come from a certain love or fondness, yet the subject’s feelings about the photographer are often unknown. Mulberry takes inspiration from the relationships between the subjects of these snapshot images, and the person taking photographs of them. As someone who makes a living through professional photography, artist Barry Goyette is keenly aware of the impact of the relationship between the photographer and the subject.
This collection of images is all rooted in the same location: a mulberry tree located in San Luis Obispo. Goyette invited his subjects to guide the shoot — bringing their own clothing, context, and vision. Together, in real time, artist and subject walked a tightrope in creating images that look familiar yet are infused with their own complex narrative and meaning, driven by the subjects’ stories. Presented in both large and small formats, the viewer encounters similar images in very different ways. Mulberry is about portraiture — and how we perceive, interpret, and trust portraits as documents of time, power, history, and memory.
About the Artist
Barry Goyette is a photographer and video producer in San Luis Obispo. He as a Bachelors (BS) in Art & Design from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. His family is predominantly located in rural New England and Quebec, Canada. He was raised as an only child in Santa Maria, California.