Photography: Dustin was born in Willemstad, Curaçao in 1985, and at age 14 he moved on his own to the Netherlands. His first project, Dreaming Above the Atlantic (2015-ongoing), is an intimate portrait series of people of Caribbean descent living in the Netherlands. Stemming from a personal craving to reconcile and reconnect with his own identity, the project grew into a much-needed exploration of the multiplicity of Caribbean experiences in Europe
His second project, Opulence (2013-ongoing), followed the suicide of his brother, a young polysexual man who dreamed of escaping Curaçao’s strictures and homophobia to follow Dustin to Europe. In his grief, Dustin began documenting the LGBTQ Ballroom scene across Europe. Through this, Dustin was imagining and experiencing the community his brother would have found if he had made it there, while finding a community for himself in the process.
Healing is at the heart of Dustin Thierry’s work. His projects stem from probing the internal questions he is asking of himself, as well as the external questions he asks of the world. In his approach, Dustin embodies the fact that portraiture itself is a relationship: his gaze is loving, and the result is restorative and generative for himself, his community, and society at large.
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