"Roja Portraits #1", inkjet print mounted on aluminum, 14.5" X 16.5", 2005

Feet are amazingly unique, like hands and faces. I wanted to engage the people of Roja in a simple but non-invasive way. Creating these portraits allowed me to meet and involve local people in the project. Latvia is recognized as one of the most successful countries transitioning from the Soviet era. There is an audible drive to be European not Eastern European, and there exists a discernable tension between maintaining identity and becoming homogenized by European pop culture. To reflect this, the images have a "Benniton" like feel to them, questioning just who or what might be for sale here. Additionally, after generations of Soviet interference, the locals were not keen on being photographed. The odd mix of specificity and anonymity of feet made the project possible, and engaging.

For a public project in Roja, the images were produced on a poster and placed on buildings all across town.