P E T E R M I R A G L I A
AFRICA : ZANZIBAR
Stephen L. Lanier
DELAWARE CENTER for the CONTEMPORARY ARTS
Excerpt from exhibition brochure essay
“PETER MIRAGLIA : ZANZIBAR”
There is a paradox in portraiture, particularly, in photographic portraiture. Undoubtedly, a portrait is about the specific--this individual, this setting, this moment--yet good portraiture transcends the specific, revealing elements of our common hopes and of shared human experience.
"Assistant Village Chief"
Peter Miraglia’s skilled and evocative portraits of the peoples of Zanzibar transport us, as Westerners, to a seemingly exotic world—a world whose modern legacy of violence and tragedy is eloquently reflected in the faces of Miraglia’s subjects.
Miraglia’s meticulous compositions and painstaking process—utilizing a large format camera under natural lighting conditions—enable him to create a complex emotional dialogue between the photographer and sitter; and ultimately, with the viewer. The long time exposure results in work of intense intimacy—psychologically revealing and powerfully moving.
"Seif with fish"
We are drawn into a world that is mysterious, yet familiar. In a land frequently likened to a mythical Eden, we are reminded of our essential humanity.