What If Early 1900s Immigrants Arrived in Modern-Day New York

flora borsi forgotten dream photo collage ellis island

Hungarian artist Flóra Borsi has been captivating us with her worksince she was a teen—whether it be her self-portrait and animal hybrids or bringing figures from abstract paintings to life. Now, with her new series The Forgotten Dream, she's taken her photo manipulations to a new level by tackling the topic of immigration.

Inspired by a visit to New York's Ellis Island, Borsi set about researching the history of immigration in the United States. Using archival images and combining them with photos of contemporary New York, she merges past and present. By forcing us to view these historical figures in a modern context, she reminds us of how much has remained the same for immigrants.

flora borsi forgotten dream photoshop manipulation

Last year I’ve been to Ellis Island and I immediately had a bad feeling about that place. Approximately I knew what happened in Ellis Island and later I’ve been thinking about the likeness of current the immigration reforms in the United States,” Borsi writes. “I made a research and it’s really sad what happened to many Immigrants. Many of them died in Ellis Island while waiting and hoping for an opportunity for a new life. In this way their dream came true. I created this project as a reminder and commemorate to the 3,500 people who died there.”

Set in a new, colorized world, the historical figures carry an even greater weight. Lost, confused, yet hopeful, they wander the streets of their new home, seeking the opportunities they hope awaits them. The Forgotten People is a touching reminder of how the United States was built and the thousands of immigrants who helped move the nation forward at the turn of the 20th century.

Artist Flóra Borsi was inspired to integrate these historic images into a contemporary landscape through photo manipulation after a visit to Ellis Island.

flora borsi forgotten dream photoshop manipulation flora borsi forgotten dream photoshop manipulation flora borsi forgotten dream photo collage

She sees the series as a way to memorialize the 3,500 people who died at Ellis Island while waiting to enter the United States.

flora borsi forgotten dream photo collage flora borsi forgotten dream photo collage ellis island flora borsi art about immigration

“Migration is an ongoing situation and the story of Ellis Island is still relevant nowadays. This is not history. This is today.”flora borsi art about immigration

flora borsi forgotten dream photo collage

These GIFs show the meticulous process that the artist uses to create these photo collages.

Flora borsi photoshop manipulation artist

Flora borsi photo manipulation

Flora borsi photo manipulation

Flóra Borsi: Website | FacebookInstagram
h/t: [This Isn't Happiness]

All images via Flóra Borsi.

Related Articles:

Artist Shares an Eye with Animals in Stunning Self-Portrait Pairings

Abstract Portraits Re-Imagined as Real People

Flóra Borsi’s Elegant Self-Portraits Subtly Blend Photography and Painting

17 Artists Blurring the Line Between Painting and Photography

Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
Become a
My Modern Met Member
As a member, you'll join us in our effort to support the arts.
Become a Member
Explore member benefits

Sponsored Content