Generally when a person hears the phrase ‘family portrait,’ images of happy, smiling faces come to mind. However, when photographer Camilla Catrambone considered this concept, she had a different idea for how to portray her family. In her series Portraits of My Family, rather than arranging a group of people on the family room sofa, Catrambone collected a variety of each individual’s belongings. She then arranged the small group of treasured items into symmetrical, organized compositions that describe each individual based on the material things that they find special.
When viewing the important objects, viewers learn so many interesting facts about Catrambone’s mother, her grandmother, and two grandfathers. All of Grandpa Antonio’s tools suggest that he is particularly fond of working with his hands while Catrambone’s mom seems to be quite the chef. By not showing any faces, the beautiful portrayal of the artist’s family produces a sense of nostalgia towards one’s own family. Through the simple objects–the strand of pearls, the old telephone, the worker’s tools–we can all find small connections that draw out memories of our own families.
Grandpa Mario, Ilva’s husband