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Creative Conversations/digital: Daniel Handal with Karen Haas

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Artist Daniel Handal in conversation with curator Karen Haas

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Artist Daniel Handal joins Lane Curator of Photographs at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Karen Haas for an in-depth discussion on Handal’s photographic series "Pajartios" (2016–18), which is included in FotoFest’s current exhibition, "Public Life: Home and the people who live there."

Daniel Handal’s colorful series "Pajaritos" borrows its name from a pejorative term used in Latin America to demean and belittle the queer community by referring to gay men as “birdies.” Handal rejects the derogatory nature of this expression in "Pajaritos," reclaiming the word as an expression of endearment through his photographic portraits of dazzling tropical songbirds positioned against pastel hues of pinks, blues, yellows, and greens. Handal’s treatment of the songbirds accentuates each bird’s unique features and prideful posture to suggest that these exceptional differences are essential components of a beautiful and powerful community.

A live Q&A with the audience will follow the discussion. Questions may be submitted via the chat interface on Zoom or YouTube.

This event will be broadcast live on Zoom and on FotoFest’s YouTube Channel. Advanced registration is required to attend the Zoom webinar. To watch the event via YouTube, visit www.youtube.com/fotofestintl.

About the guests

Daniel Handal is a Honduran-born artist who lives and works in New York. He received his BS in Applied Sciences from Rutgers University and studied Photography at the International Center of Photography. Handal’s work centers on portraiture and explores issues of gender, sexuality, identity, and community. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at Clam- pArt, New York, NY; New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe; Deborah Colton Gallery, Houston, TX; The powerHouse Arena, New York, NY; Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney; and MKII, Lon don, UK. Handal’s work has been written about in The Huffington Post, Slate and Hyperallergic, among others. He has participated in residencies at The Millay Colony for the Arts, Austerlitz, NY; Constance Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts, Ithaca, NY; and the Center for Photography, Woodstock, NY. Handal currently serves on the board of directors of Baxter St Camera Club of New York and is represented by ClampArt in New York

Karen Haas has been the Lane Curator of Photographs at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston since 2001, where she is responsible for a large collection of photographs by American modernists, Charles Sheeler, Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, and Imogen Cunningham. The Lane Collection numbers more than 6,000 prints and ranges across the entire history of western photography. Before coming to the MFA, she held various curatorial positions in Boston-area museums and private collections, including the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Boston University Art Gallery, and the Addison Gallery of American Art in Andover, MA. She has a BA in Art History from Connecticut College, New London; an MA in the History of Photography at Boston University; and has taught the history of photography at both Boston University and Boston College. Her MFA activities include exhibitions, such as Ansel Adams in Our Time; (un)expected families; Charles Sheeler from Doylestown to Detroit; Imogen Cunningham: In Focus; Gordon Parks: Back to Fort Scott; Edward Weston: Leaves of Grass; and Bruce Davidson: East 100th Street. She has just completed a book on the early work of Edward Weston, and her other publications include An Enduring Vision: Photographs from the Lane Collection (Boston: MFA Publications, 2011); Common Wealth: Art by African Americans in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Boston: MFA Publications, 2015); Ansel Adams (Boston: MFA Publications, 2005); and The Photography of Charles Sheeler: American Modernist (Boston: Bulfinch Press, 2003).

Image: Daniel Handal, "White Zebra Finch (Orange Flamingo)," 2018. From the series "Pajartios," 2016-18. Courtesy of the artist and ClampArt, New York, NY.

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