Rocio De Alba

Documantary/Fine Art Photographer
Hues of Separation
Location: Queens, New York
Nationality: Hispanic
Biography: Rocio De Alba (rohsee-oh) is a fine art, multimedia, and conceptual photographer based in Queens, New York. She received a BFA from The School of Visual Arts and is an award-winning book designer and handmade book instructor. She was a grant... read on
Private Story
Hues of Separation
Credits: rocio de alba
Date of Work: 12/31/69 - Ongoing
Updated: 02/17/20

This series analyses the prejudice endured by teenage boys of color living in low income metropolitan areas affected by the controversial “Stop and Frisk” policy. The criterion dictating this law are the young men’s skin color and their social class. This policy does not unite the nation, it divides us.

To demonstrate the deeply subjective and flawed constructs of this legislature, I entered the following into a search engine: “photos of minority males from low income communities." From the results, I select images in a random fashion, much like a police officer might when selecting “questionable” young men to “stop-and-Frisk.” I appropriate the photos and create a mask around their skin. I cut and paste this section unto a program that calculates the most predominant hue in a cluster of pixels. I then enter this hue code into the brush tools in Photoshop and use variants of it to add contour, contrast, and digitally paint the photographs (including background) until they are drenched with their respective skin pigment. I spend hours performing this process until the light conditions simulates that of a Dutch masters, such as Rembrandt. 

As the art market value for original paintings is still based on aristocratic models of social and economic upper class, I adopt this ideology and transform the photos into simulated paintings to elevate these adolescents to aristocratic status. My objective is to metaphorically empower them and bring focus on discriminating doctrines that convert our youth into criminals based on guidelines beyond their control.