Photographer of the Week #160: Nydia Blas

Nydia Blas is a visual artist living in Ithaca, New York with her two children. She holds a B.S. from Ithaca College, and received her M.F.A. from Syracuse University in the school of Visual and Performing Arts. She currently serves as the Visual Media Arts Director at Southside Community Center in Ithaca, NY.

She describes her work as

“an amalgamation of  popular and sub-cultures, especially film and folklore, and undoubtedly lived experience. The result is an environment imbued with a sense of magical realism that is dependent upon the belief that alchemy takes place in the tangible world. In order to navigate the often-harsh realities of circumstance and maintain resiliency, a magical outlook is necessary. In this space, props function as extensions of the body, costumes as markers of identity, and gestures reveal the performance, celebration, discovery and confrontation involved in self-definition within pre-existing structures.”

Blas captures mythical moments that are embodied by black women. Within her images, black bodies become meaningful figures of personal identity as well as the foundations of community. As her subjects engage with each other, the world around them is infused with an intimate strangeness. Blas utilizes recognizable symbols, costumes, and spaces that boldly reinterpret existing narratives into honest accounts of personhood.

For more work from Nydia Blas, check her website: