Christian Rodriguez was born and raised in New York City to immigrants from the Dominican Republic. He spent his childhood traveling between the two islands and cultures. Through high school, he attended NYCSalt, a photographic residency program. In 2015, he graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design. As of now, he is working on long term projects between DR and NYC, exploring issues of immigration and cultural identity. Christian has shown in multiple cities including New York, Savannah, and Connecticut. His work has been privately collected by several large firms including Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan. Most recently he was selected for the New York Times Portfolio Review in 2017.
My mother and father had their first child in Dominican Republic. They decided not to have another unless their situation improved. They made that happen by immigrating to the United States, where I became the first American-born citizen of my family. I witnessed family members packing their bags and selflessly leaving everything to seek greater opportunities for their loved ones. Within this ongoing project I document the transition of my cousin Leo’s life as it began in Dominican Republic. In December of 2014, Leo was preparing to move from one island to another. Leo’s mother did not initially receive a visa, but preferred to send him to his father without her, solely to give Leo the chance to learn English at a young age. As I captured moments between Leo and his mother, and Leo saying goodbye to family, school teachers and friends, I began to notice something. With these images I was visually acknowledging the diaspora many families encounter, the emotions entangled within it, and the suffering, while others around the world continue to dream of a better tomorrow.
To view more of Christian’s work please visit his website.