LaToya Ruby Frazier: Momme Portrait Series (Shadow)

I found out in 2008 that both Grandma Ruby and Mom had cancer, as did many of the elder women in Braddock. Here, Mom and I explored a new approach to documenting our illnesses (mine being lupus). We stood our mattress on end and covered it with a comforter, essentially making it our studio/stage. We made a portrait of our bodies overlapping as one, unified in sickness, death, and our struggle to survive. The light cast a shadow that for me foreshadows the loss of Grandma Ruby; she passed away six months later from pancreatic cancer.

—LaToya Ruby Frazier