ABOUT THE SERIES
Fathers on Fathers features the works of father and son photographers Barry and Alex Mayo. Individually each explores the relationship of photography to time to share their collective past experiences that led them to the moment of capture. It’s an intergenerational story that is about the learned and the inherited through the lens of fatherhood.
“As a new father, I often describe parenting as the closest one will ever come to operating a time machine. Your child becomes the perfect lesson that all the people you ever met are just some combination of all of their individual experiences. It’s also no surprise that you begin to reflect on the experiences that made you, and particular ways in which you want to either pass down those experiences or avoid/tweak them.
My photography has always been personal, and a process for me to reflect on my past, present, and future. The constraints and physical nature of film photography have worked as a great therapy for self-analysis. It is with that thinking that for this Father’s Day 2020, I was drawn to selecting 5 main pillars that I felt were passed down by my father, Barry Mayo: Music, a strong inner-child, mindfulness, loyalty & travel.”
– Alex Mayo, 2020
“One of the many facets of photography that has intrigued me over the past 38 years of image-making, is the concept of documenting relationships over time. As a photographer/grandfather, documenting the relationship between my son and his son was obviously appealing to me. To answer the question “what have you learned from your son using pictures?”, had the net effect of causing a kind of introspection and self-analysis that I’d not previously considered.
The process of exploring the images that I’ve made over the past two years of the relationship between my son Alex Mayo and his son Marley, has been one of both profound discovery and memory for me. It’s been an exercise in the observance of the beauty of the relationship between a new, ‘present’ father and his son.
Candidly speaking, I was nowhere near as ‘present’ a father for Alex some thirty years ago, as he is for his son Marley, today. The documentation of these five images over the past two years has given me a sense of pride and joy, born of the observation of a young, but mature, 21st century father. These have been lessons taught to a father…by his youngest son.” – Barry Mayo, 2020
Barry Mayo’s fine-art photographs focus primarily on the natural interplay of light and shadow. In many of Mayo’s images, the stark contrast of both his black and white and color imagery highlights his study of social, visual and emotional juxtapositions. Through careful observation and the interplay of the visual geometry of space and place within his photos, Mayo’s work results in something that is formally complex – yet his images deliver a succinct and direct assessment of his surroundings – and the imagined interior life of his subjects. His images explore racial themes, ideas around presence and absence, and cultural dilemmas found in science and faith. In the end, the photographs of Barry Mayo make the experience of the world a newly seen experience for the viewer.
After a successful 35-year career as a radio broadcasting programmer, manager, and President, Barry Mayo began exhibiting his photography in various museums and galleries, predominantly in the Chicago area, including a group exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Mayo has served on the boards of numerous educational institutions including service as the Vice Chair of the World of Money.org; an organization that teaches financial education and philanthropy to young people in the New York City metro area. He also serves on the board of the Center for Photography at Woodstock. Mayo is a father and new grandfather, a rabid Jazz fan, and circumnavigator who makes his home in the magnificent Hudson Valley of New York State.
Alex Mayo is an Acoustic & Audiovisual consultant at Arup, a multi-disciplinary global engineering firm. In this position Alex looks to engage with the cultural context of clients to understand the diversity within client organizations and how to best provide equal experiences for all through universal design.
His career brings him many opportunities to collaborate with artists, especially in designing and developing experiential installations, however it is in his free time that he has rediscovered his love for film photography. Growing up in Chicago he often helped his father on photoshoots and in the darkroom developing film, and now as an amateur photographer has developed his own artistic vision. Alex looks to use photography as a time capsule for both the singular moments captured while also exploring the rich context of both his personal journey and that of his subjects as he continues on the path of refining his style with a focus on black & white film photography.