Bayeté Ross-Smith Lady Like
To me photography is about telling compelling stories. I create the setting and mood and leave the details to the viewer's imagination. I began this body of work on female boxers in part because I love sports. The subjects are people I met in different gyms in New York City.
This work focuses on women who are serious competitors, not just taking boxing as a hobby. You see these athletes' determination, and it goes beyond the Sport itself. It's there in their lives, before and after the matches. People achieve incredible feats out of sheer will, overcoming external and internal obstacles. To me, that's amazing.
I am looking into the world of women who fight and asking, "Who are these women?" What is their mentality, their motivation? I want to question our definitions of women and femininity. I want to examine the ways we stereotype people and explore how these women boxers relate to men and how men relate to them. I am even more interested in how the viewer perceives the boxers and want the viewer to question (as I am questioning) their own ideas about women. I believe that out of this kind of introspection comes significant analytical thought. My goal is to make people think, so they will analyze themselves and their views of the world, and stir their imaginations.