Colby Deal

The Altarpiece

About the Project

I’ve always been fascinated with presenting the inside of home to the public in order to create an experience leading from present to past using photography, sculpture and setting. These attributes are operational in my works to preserve cultural characteristics that are being erased in urban communities of color. The location of the Hillcroft and I-69 underpass lends itself perfectly, because it’s community is culturally diverse and a high traffic area for businesses. I will use this opportunity to create a photographic altarpiece resembling classical paintings from an era such as the Renaissance, acting as the transverse experience of past to present, to celebrate the integration of culture in a community with such diversity. While the altarpiece is a representation of class and importance from a traditional era of painting, the architecture of this contemporary altarpiece will mimic the walls of homes in the urban communities of Houston today and it’s portraits are an intimate look into the lives of the people that occupy those homes.

In this particular stage of my career a majority of my attention is focused on the representation of women and increased scrutiny they’ve undergone, because of legal dictation of their human rights and the mistreatment of women of color. This photographic altarpiece will be a dedication of appreciation to a group of multicultural women, whom I know by way of being influential in their communities and challenging the perception of inferiority and denying discrimination. A historical aspect of diligence is preserved through the work they perform within their communities and it represents a positive standard for future generations of children. The altar is critical in broadening the spectrum of gender appreciation and cultural awareness, because of the monumental presentation of the portraits within the altar; along with the effect of it’s decorative features that are a metaphorical stand-in for the detailed determination of the ladies to influence their communities.

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Experience the Project

District J

Meet the Artist

Colby Deal is a photographic artist born and raised in Houston, Texas and received his Bachelors of Fine Arts in Photography from The University of Houston. Within his practice, he explores the culmination of elements of the psychological environment as well as the physical by combining street photography and portraiture to capture the essence of vibrant communities.

Colby is driven artistically by his pursuit to preserve characteristics of under sourced communities and people of color who are under explicit cultural erasure. Through photography and a family of mediums, his process of preservation serves as a vehicle to endorse actions of the future as a result of an intimate reflection of the past.

Through Colby’s eyes, the texture of an elegant dress helps a mother reflect on her childhood and now she’s prompted to pass pearls of memory onto her daughter. A father informs his son about land ownership after viewing a photograph of an abandoned house. A piece of furniture reminds a grandchild of how grandmother took care of the entire family in her tiny home. Furthermore, at times when Deal has placed a piece of this art in the proper area of a community, self-appreciation and positive influence increased, and possibly the revenue of a small business next door because of curious traffic from social media postings.