|Photo: Zoe Strauss|
I'm in absolute awe of Zoe Strauss, always have been, and that amazement only grows with each succeeding project, with each remarkable success. Here's a person with no formal training, no bankroll, the very humblest of backgrounds- and yet, she overcame and achieved whatever she set out to do, and then some. No excuses, no self imposed parameters, no paralyzing self doubt. She just goes out... and does it- not by courting those on top, but by working from the ground level up (and curiously enough- the agencies, galleries and museums soon follow).
She would no doubt have succeeded in whatever she set out to do, I'm just happy she chose photography. I'm sure her enthusiasm must be infectious, otherwise she would never accomplish half of what she does. While I see obstacles, she sees possibilities; while others simply dream, she realizes what she envisions, and accomplishes those dreams one step, and perhaps most importantly- one person at a time. No superpowers, just sheer perseverance and force of will- not by conning or steamrolling people as per your average politico, but by acknowledging each one, treating them as equals, and bringing out the best in them. Which, when all is said and done, is very much a super power- I can't bring out the best in me most days.
And so I stand in awe, with each remarkable photograph, with each enlightening project. She is her own best creation- the embodiment of human potential. And I salute her.