Father and son
"To Touch is To Give Life." - Michelangelo
As a father of two little boys, not so little by the day, I have realized how quickly a time will come when they won't need me to walk them to school while firmly holding their hands.
As a photographer, I came up with the idea to make a portrait of my 95-year-old grandfather and my father holding hands. It then turned into a longer journey than I had expected.
Following the start of the pandemic we decided to keep my grandfather safe so we couldn't meet for almost a year. In early spring, I stopped before a house that had captured my interest. The door of the house opened to let out a woman pushing a man in a wheelchair. The woman approached me, holding tightly a portrait of a young man. “This was our only son,” she said. “He passed away 8 months ago. My husband would like to take a picture with him.”
I started taking portraits of other fathers and their adult sons. Holding hands became a way to unite within something that had been unwillingly separated. While posing, fathers and sons held hands for the first time in years, sometimes decades. This act of intimacy became the project's main purpose, the photos being just a mere testament to the long-unspoken love between the men. This unusual form of participatory photography revealed many important aspects of the father-son relationship, their vulnerability, and their varying levels of interaction and acceptance.