By Christina Waters
Mysteries of life and death, of rituals and deterioration fill the large-scale photographs Lewis Watts has taken on his many journeys to New Orleans. Hands lifting high a coffin are juxtaposed with shy children taking part in their first Mardi Gras celebrations. The work observes quietly, taking in the worn edges of hurricane country where the presence of humans is often marginalized by meteorological poetry and destruction.
Rituals through a Lens
An adjoining suite of new color photos, taken in Cuba, shows the evolving cultural landscape of a vibrant post-Soviet renaissance. Watts' elegaic compositions surround defiantly robust Cubans with magical realist eruptions of color. Gathered into the current exhibition at the Sesnon Gallery, Watts' most recent photographs taken together are loaded with undercurrents of surprise and downhome glamor.