In 2016, I encountered a delightful, little blue boat that had washed up on a picture-perfect beach in the Florida Keys. I later came to find out that the boat, packed with 20 Cuban refugees, had almost capsized during a storm at sea. The survivors narrowly escaped death, thanks to a last-minute rescue by the Coast Guard, which abandoned the sinking vessel to the Atlantic Ocean.
      This story sparked me into venturing on to other beautiful settings with somber backstories. In this series “Pretty Dark Things,” I chose not to relate the scenarios as documentaries. Instead, I developed a multimedia process of hand coloring her photographs and using layers of acrylic to conjure up bucolic scenes that have the effect of looking like vintage reverse glass paintings. 
      Through this process, I captured situations involving fleeing refugees, environmental dangers, mental illness and poverty, and transformed them into best supporting actors to the staid, but beautiful backgrounds in which they were photographed. The Sundae Stands AloneCooling Tower in SpringFleeing Middle EarthRefugee Boat in ParadiseFrontier 19