If I should describe in one word the artworks of Tamara Torress, it would be “street”. Street is full of contradictions: people, buildings, trash, colors, poverty, spot, drugs and possibilities exactly like the photographer’s images.
Street can teach so much, especially if you have lived in for a part of your life. Tamara doesn’t end up on the streets, but she starts in them, in the streets of Trenton, NJ, in 1978. As a homeless, with a brother and a father painter and alcoholic, she grew up, “meeting” her first camera at thirteen, by an acquaintance.
Wishing to escape from her difficult childhood and living several extreme experiences, she has learned – and never forgotten – that “if you don’t use your talent it will be taken away”, as her father used to say. And this talent must be developed, in self-taught way and improving every day.
Walking on the street, Tamara sees men from different countries fighting for human rights, women fighting against violence, kids fighting for a future, workers for a job… all the problems that came across with her, in life. All of these situations and perceptions blend together in Tamara’s imagination, becoming collages, the most significant form of art for her in this moment.
“It is difficult for me to explain my art or what it does to people if anything. The only thing I can say it’s that it comes out of my heart into whatever image you see. There are many things I can honestly say I’m not great at and I don’t pretend to be. Being an artist wasn’t’ a choice it is the only way I can breathe.”