Born in New York City to Dominican parents, photographer Christian Rodriguez spent his childhood traveling between the two islands and cultures. An early interest in photography led him to study at the Savannah College of Art and Design, where he became infatuated with his Dominican heritage. He has since dedicated his photographic practice to issues of immigration, cultural identity, and the Dominican diaspora, and he is currently working on long-term projects between the Dominican Republic and New York City.
“Learning My Father” explores Rodriguez’s complicated relationship with his father, reckoning with cultural differences and the inherent mortality he’s faced with in confronting his father’s illness. He explains: “As a child and even more so as a teen I never got along with my father. He was born in Dominican Republic where the culture was quite the opposite. In the mid-’80s my mother and he immigrated to New York City. As a young couple, they struggled to grow and make a living but persevered. It wasn’t till I began photographing him where I noticed that we simply had a cultural disconnect, a disparity that became more evident the more I learned. Through his illness, he has become a difficult subject to photograph as he provokes a reflection of myself; my mortality.”
See more from “Learning My Father” below.