Jason Gardner presents his photographic series “Portraits of Carnaval,” showing the range of artistry of those participating in the festival in Brazil, Louisiana, France, Sardinia, Guinea-Bissau, and Trinidad. Having published the photography book A Flower in the Mouth showing the culture, music and rituals of the authentic, folkloric Carnaval festival in Pernambuco, Brazil, the next book will be about the Carnavals of the world.
In his work, he seeks the ineffable moment when people transform, when they transcend normal lives to connect with what they view as sacred, and embody their culture, heritage, and identity. Democratic and folkloric, it reveals a complexity and diversity of religion and ritual. He looks for the common thread binding those who uphold the tradition as they prepare costumes, rehearse dance and music, and observe their private rituals. For those who practice it year after year, Carnaval is more than a huge party: it is a proud way of life.