My name is Raymond. I’m talented and don’t like to be labeled. I am my own person and just like to enjoy life to the fullest. I live in Brooklyn but I am originally from Guyana. I was born and raised there, and moved here in 2005. I am a mix of Indian, Native American, Chinese, and Black. What brought me to Youth Insights is my passion for writing and art. My interests are photography, baking, traveling, writing, and being creative. To me, art is a way for me to escape from the world and issues. It is also my addiction, something that is in my blood 24/7. And it is what makes me happy and defines me as a person. My favorite artists are Maya Lin, Richard Serra, David Smith, Kiki Smith, and Jacob Lawrence. The thing that inspires me is creativity. In the future I hope to achieve a lot, such as becoming a fashion photographer, a pastry chef, a critic, and maybe a world traveler.
YI Artists worked with artist in residence LaToya Ruby Frazier to create photographs that documented their changing neighborhoods, selves, and a variety of public spaces in New York City. They examined the effects of advertising on society and the ways that individuals make every day choices. Teens also watched and discussed excerpts from the documentaries Century of the Self and the British series 7 UP to further understand the links between propaganda, advertising, and the ways in which social class affect an individual’s future.
I think race, gender, and class are big topics. They affect many people, but advertising plays a big role in how we perceive them. Personally, I think that if you know where you stand and belong, you don’t have to worry about what categories you belong in.
The sequence SAFETY was about the place you felt safe. I decided to photograph the little kids outside my school. It was a place where they felt untouchable and unharmed. I included my friends, because those are the people that I feel safe around—it only made sense that they should be included, because they have been there for me since freshman year and they always support me. My safety is with my best friends, knowing that we are stronger as a whole than as individuals.