ObamasNeighborhood.com is proud to feature the work of Susan Benay, a Honolulu-based photographer. Susan, who received her MFA from Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles, first photographed the future President when he spoke briefly at a rally in Honolulu at Kehei Lagoon Beach Park on August 7, 2008.
Something magical happened that afternoon. When “Obama began to speak” said Benay, “I looked carefully at him and began taking photographs…It struck me that the play of equatorial light and shadow illumined him in a way that revealed an extraordinarily intimate glimpse of who he was...The noonday brilliance made him seem to me at once young, freshly grown, idealistic as well as ancient, wise, and mythological; a transcendent icon of humanity and a living work of art.”
She scored a second opportunity to photograph Barak Obama in December of 2008, when he spent his vacation in Kaneohe (reportedly at a home belonging to Oprah Winfry). Call it good luck or good karma, she happened to be one of his closest neighbors. Again, out came the camera.
Susan has photographed Obama in a manner that transcends the work of photojournalists or paparazzi. I believe she captures the President with an intimacy that few ever see. To date, her work has not appeared anywhere else on the Internet. Her plans are to exibit the images at galleries in Japan, Mainland USA and elsehere.
You also may be interested in reading her artist statement.
Obamasneighborhood.com will soon be selling photos from the Benay collection. Stay tuned! If you have any questions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.