Hector Poveda isn’t afraid to capture deeply painful emotions through his photographs, because he has lived through them. This SITE Scholar and sophomore at St. John’s College is a self-taught photographer. He began the trade with travel photography and has since transitioned to projects about mental illnesses, emotions and states of mind. His work explores the realm of conceptual and architectural symmetry. Originally from Colombia, this artist started photography when he was in high school at the Singapore United World College, which offered a culturally diverse community he was grateful to experience. Although he didn’t take photography classes abroad, he went on daily expeditions to explore the elegant island on his own, thus beginning his passion for travel photography. The self identified “travel junkie” says, “It all started as travel photography, taking pictures of places and people—that always caught my attention. I love traveling and eating weird food and getting on random bikes and trains. This mixes my two favorite passions—traveling and photography.”
After enduring depression and anxiety during his earlier college years, he began to use photography as an escape. His photos transitioned into projects reflecting what “those things felt like to me on a daily basis.” At that point, he found out what he really wanted to do with his photography and became a perfectionist about symmetry in photos. He says, “For me, there’s so much you can express in conceptual photography. You can say ‘I’m happy,’ but what it means for me to be happy can be very different from what it means for you to be happy. I like to connect to different individuals from different backgrounds. A picture can say much more than words do. It’s very powerful interacting with different individuals without having to talk.”
Hector transferred to St. John’s College where he uses the studio and darkroom. He continues to grow as a photographer through the SITE Scholar Program, “It’s a great opportunity if you’re an artist, devoted to your art and want to do something with it. It puts your art out there and allows you to be proud of showing your work. I want to be really committed and to make the best out of the experience.” Hector is brainstorming what digital works to capture for the upcoming SITE Scholar exhibition in the SITElab from May 4-28. He intends to build on his original works and to relate his upcoming project to New Mexico history.