May 23, 2012 · 0 Comments
By David Gonzalez:
Myra Greene grew up in New York, where she was used to being around people of different races. But as she embarked on her photographic career, her work and travels took her to places where she was the only African-American.
And she knew it.
“I’m always thinking about race,” she said. “I recognize it when I’m the only black person in a room. My white friends will notice I’m the only black person, too. But they don’t notice a room full of white people.”
They might now.
“My White Friends” is a series of some 50 portraits of — you guessed it — Ms. Greene’s white friends. Shot in color, and posed to the point of performance in some cases, the images delve into questions of race and self-perception. She did them hoping to spur a conversation on these issues, which have been part of her work for a while now.
In fact, the project had its roots in “Character Recognition,” a series Ms. Greene had done shortly after Hurricane Katrina. She had been aghast at how some of New Orleans’s black residents were left to fend for themselves or worse and made a series of black-glass ambrotypes, taking glistening close-ups of her facial features.