Roberto Arevalo is a local filmmaker and photographer. He specializes in documentaries that focus on cultural studies. He hopes to reveal what people do and how they think. Through the experiences he films, he provides a point of view that allows people to understand our cultural traits; “Our pains, our talents, our suffering, and our beauty.”
“The exhibit I have today is called Mindscapes. It represents the areas in our brain and the different landscapes we go through.” His photographs of Georgia’s Arabia Mountain are characterized by areas of light and dark. They attempt to illustrate “the bigger picture” through extreme and intimate close ups.
His photographs of the Brooklyn Bridge symbolize connections. “It’s impressive, you know, it was built in the 1800s, but you see this massive structure that allows people to move from one place to another.” These photographs represent his beliefs that architecture is key to inspiring people and for society to move forward. “It connects two parts of the world—two areas of land—so that people can walk into a different space, which I think is fantastic.
In fact, allowing people to cross into a “different space” is the main mission of his work. Roberto creates his work as a means to connect people to people of different race, creeds, and backgrounds. He brings visceral images of people “in the most organic way.” He does not manipulate any of his films and photographs to create the most accurate picture possible.
Many of his documentaries are people simply talking about their every day lives. “Some people say that ‘Oh, my life is not that interesting,’ but we really do have very interesting lives.” He further states that “unless we analyze and reflect, then we cannot evolve.” He hopes that by watching his work, people are able to discover a world larger than themselves.
Roberto began filmmaking and photography twenty-one years ago in New York. Eventually, he founded a program to teach inner city children about film through self reflection called Mirror Project. This inspired him to create Beyond Documentary, “an organization dedicated to the distribution, creation, and teaching of documentary.”
“The work I did with kids influenced my work as an independent artist…This was a fantastic opportunity to capture what I think is important. I film people of different ages, different ethnic groups, and social groups because everyone has an important story to tell. I typically care more about the every day person than I do about the people in the spotlight. They represent all of us, and all of us have beautiful moment and difficult moments. This is what I want to put out there.
[Culture] shapes who we are, and artist have the power to influence people, to show different views that people otherwise wouldn’t see especially if you come from another country…and that’s why I am here.”
You can see Roberto’s work at Ponce City Market’s the Shed on Sundays from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM at the WonderRoot Artist Market.
Applications for the July Market can be found: here.