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We Are All Human

I have been practicing and studying photography for the past six years, both in and outside of school. It has become a big part of how I perceive the world. And, as a senior in high school, I have started to think about what kind of legacy I want my work to leave behind.

Just like almost every native of New York City, I took several school trips to the Met when I was in elementary and middle school. But it wasn't until October 2014, when I began interning at the Museum, that I realized that it is more than just a beautifully designed building with vast collections of art ranging from the Byzantine Empire to the Italian Renaissance. Beyond its walls and history, the Met is a melting pot, bringing individuals with different religions, political views, and cultures together under one roof.

Every discriminatory barrier is broken by the simple fact that all of these people came to enjoy art. Recently, in one gallery, I overheard conversations in Italian and saw a family, including women dressed in beautiful red and gold saris, admiring The Death of Socrates by Jacques Louis David.

Jacques Louis David (French, 1748–1825). The Death of Socrates, 1787. Oil on canvas; 51 x 77 1/4 in. (129.5 x 196.2 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Collection, Wolfe Fund, 1931 (31.45)

Jacques Louis David (French, 1748–1825). The Death of Socrates, 1787. Oil on canvas; 51 x 77 1/4 in. (129.5 x 196.2 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Collection, Wolfe Fund, 1931 (31.45)

At this point I realized that my photography should have the same kind of effect on people. If my work should ever be hung in a museum like the Met, I want people to look at it and truly say they are inspired by it or feel connected to it. I would also want other individuals with an interest in photography to notice the aesthetics of my work, for example the lighting and composition.

If it is possible to create work that helps to spark conversation and encourage unity, rather than separation among races and other barriers, then I will have become a successful artist.

What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?

Love Not War (2014). Photograph by Angela R

Love Not War (2014). Photograph by Angela R.


Department: Education

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