Chad Evans Wyatt
Born of musician parents, and growing up in New York and Paris, Chad Evans Wyatt’s portraits of artists were his first professional images. His work is included in the music divisions of the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institution, the National Gallery of Art, and in the archives of the Muzeum romské kultury (Brno), Plzeň University, the Muzeum Wałbrzch, and the National Czech and Slovak Museum, Cedar Rapids.
Earlier projects leading to the current work: Music in the Home, National Gallery Orchestra, Army Band, Bicycle Messengers, Composers of Washington DC, Artists of the Arts District, and four architectural series, Scaffolds, Small Libraries, Small Bridges and Lost Forrest Glen.
Wyatt first came to Prague in 1993, where he began 101: Artists in the Post-Revolution Czech Republic, a three-generation, cross-sectional documentation of creative people at work during the 90's. The finished project exhibited for four years, on two continents. The 101 catalog was named "Best Thematic Photo Book" at the 2001 Prague Book Fair.
While developing 101, Wyatt came to see that a new kind of portrayal of the Czech Republic’s Roma was possible. The media there, as elsewhere, had for decades followed the model of Josef Koudelka, with growing detachment from that great artist's inspired vision and content. Over time, emulators evolved a kind of theatre of "gypsy" life, images descended into stereotype. Seldom was the quite obvious Roma professional and middle-class presented in the press. Wyatt undertook to find and photograph those achievers, and by the evidence of nearly one hundred such people (representing many more), sought to break through common beliefs about the Roma as uneducable, irresponsible, without hope. romarising is the result, portraits in black-and-white, simple, direct, respectful, as seldom seen before. Wyatt drew on the early 20th century example of August Sander in seeking a plain and honest portrayal series of mostly unknowns. Collectively, they are basis for optimism, and for an emergence from the troubled past.
romarising had its world-premiere at the Muzeum romské kultury in Brno in June of 2004, and has exhibited in Europe and in the Americas ever since. The project's catalog is called roma rising : romské obrozeni. The esteemed <rotor> group in Graz, Austria, included selections of romarising in its acclaimed group show “We Are What We Are,” which toured Europe extensively. Prospect is under consideration for extending a romarising coverage to further countries.