Today we’d like to introduce you to Steven Baboun.
Steven, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I’m a 22-year-old artist from Port-au-Prince, Haiti who primarily works in photo, video, and performance art. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Film and Media Arts from American University in Washington, DC in May 2017. After graduation, I moved to Miami for a year where I worked briefly in fashion. Currently, I am pursuing my MFA degree in photography at Parsons School of Design in New York City.
I grew up in a Haitian-Syrian household. Being from two vastly different cultures, I have always been fascinated with the idea of identity in relation to culture, nationality, and sexuality. This fascination has pushed me into trying to understand my own existence as a multi-cultural individual in Haiti through visual storytelling.
Can you give our readers some background on your art?
My work is birthed through photography, video, and performance art. My work explores diverse social issues within the Haitian community such as queerness, race and social class, politics, religion (namely Vodou and Catholicism), and multi-cultural identities.
I want to present to the world the complexities of Haitian society and how Haiti is an incubator for innovation, creativity, and storytelling. Haiti has always been the center of negative attention in the media– often times depicting an inauthentic and sensationalized representation of the island. Through my work, I counter this toxic narrative by showing that Haiti is a country driven by racial and sexual diversity, dynamic spirituality, and unmatched love for art. I am inspired by the ever-evolving nature of the self, my country and its narratives.
With my art, I want to transport people to a place– Haiti– filled with mysticism, resilience, love, and beauty.
How do you think about success, as an artist, and what do quality do you feel is most helpful?
For me, I am successful if I can captivate my audience through stories that aren’t their own. I have gained success once my work speaks to someone– especially someone from a different background as me. I love to hear people tell me that I made them care about Haiti. This validates for me the strength and importance of my work in a sense.
Not everyone is an artist. You need to devote your life to the craft. I think a successful artist is an artist that is aware of what they are creating– their art is rooted in theory, purpose, relevancy, and authenticity. A successful artist prolifically makes things, always questions and explores, and always is ready to give their minds, heart, and body to the public.
What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
You can keep up with my work through my Instagram @stevenbaboun or through my portfolio at stevenbaboun.com I also have prints for sale at society6.com/stevenbaboun
- Website: stevenbaboun.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stevenbaboun/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StevenBabounPhoto
- Twitter: twitter.com/stevenbaboun
All images were taken by me.