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ASMP NY 2016 : Tamara Rafkin

Tamara Rafkin is Nominated by Reviewers Daniel Aycock (Owner, Front Room Gallery), Stella Kramer (Pulitzer Prize­winning Photo Editor, Curator, and Photography Consultant) and Janice Monger (Director, Alice Austen House Museum).

In 2015 I had the opportunity to spend an extended period in Berlin focusing on my artwork after the dramatic end of a relationship. During the first week I was there, I gave myself space to heal my own ‘break’ while wandering Berlin opening myself up to what inspiration I might find to direct my work. It was during that time I noticed the amount of scars the older buildings in Berlin bare. Everywhere I went, I saw shrapnel wounds or repairs that left visible evidence that something had happened there. I became entranced with these details, with this marks on the buildings and the society's’ history.

The wounds spoke to me, and in them I saw not only the anger and hurt of the past but the beauty of their existence. Berlin is what it is, not in spite of these marks of history, but partially because of them and they can be beautiful; I wanted to honor that, to get close and witness it - to show the beauty.

This is what led me to seven weeks of traversing Berlin on foot for hours, looking and searching for these scars of time. Creating what is abstract at first glance but is actually a record of the life of Berlin, beauty from pain and destruction and in that record also metaphor for the scars we all have and that make us who we are.

About Tamara Rafkin :

She is an American/ Belgian artist. She grew up in Charleston SC and recently moved to New York City after a decade of living in Aalst, Belgium. Her work explores the ideas of sense of place, cultural habits and the emotional charge of human environments twinged with the narrative of her own life experiences. Her ongoing exploration has lead to this body of work: Scars.