Juan Orrantia's photographic practice is a dialogue between experiences of dislocation, postcoloniality and questions of representation. Born and raised in Colombia, and having spent much of his adult life in South Africa, his approach relies on color, appropriation, and the photobook as ways to interrogate historical narratives and experiences of looking and being seen.
Published photobooks are Like Stains of Red Dirt (Dalpine 2020--winner of the Fiebre Dummy Award), and A Machete Pelao (Cdf 2022), winner of the Fotolibro Latinoamericano Centro de Fotografia de Montevideo; some of these works are held in collections like the Smithsonian Museum of African Art Library, Biblioteca de Arte Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, and The Ginsberg Center for the Book, Wits Museum of Art. Reviews of his work appear in Aperture, Nearest Truth, BJP, Africa is a Country, among others. Juan is now Assistant professor of Fine Art Photography at the Rochester Institute of Technology, having previously taught at Wits University Fine Arts (Johannesburg), Bard Center for Human Rights and the Arts, the ICP among others. He holds an MFA in Photography from Hartford Art School and a PhD from Yale University, and now spends his time between Rochester (NY), South Africa and Colombia.