I work to create images that capture beauty, both external and internal, seen and felt. Beauty is often defined as “a combination of qualities that pleases,” and to me, beauty combines what circumstance commands with what infinity implores. Throughout my life, I’ve experienced rich, vivid beauty—amidst brutal poverty in my childhood home of Haiti; while guiding people in yoga practice to find and transcend their limits in presence, power, and pliability; or witnessing everyday heroines and heroes surmount systems of oppression to live radiant lives. For these reasons, I want my images to connect people to their own beauty and that of others.
Whether making live portraits or drawing symbols and characters, I always begin with listening. Live portraiture gives me an opportunity to steep in story with my model; I learn about early memories, first loves, triumphs, and transformative lessons. This intimacy of shared conversation enables me to uncover elements of unseen beauty to which static representations can only allude, making it possible for me to encapsulate my model's essence. In my non-figurative work, I often use symbols reminiscent of Haitian Veve (ritual cornmeal drawings that represent different spirits) and characters from West African origin stories to express the richness and power of these traditions and their continued wisdom for our interconnected world.
With every image, I strive to convey aesthetic and conceptual qualities that read as beautiful. Combinations of qualities that remind us of our embodied past, the realities of the present, and the possibilities of our future.