First Place: Mark Caceres- After the Fire- The Lazarus Dream
L.A. Photo Curator: Global Photography Awards - 'Where Photography & Philanthropy Meet' First Place: Mark Caceres- After the Fire- The Lazarus Dream (click on image for larger view)
(click on image for larger view)

Curator Adam Finkelston: "Of all the wonderful images submitted for this contest, Mark Cáceres’ image, After The Fire: The Lazarus Dream, captured the theme of transience most completely and beautifully for me. The image is beautifully balanced compositionally, and seems to address many aspects of the theme. The figures themselves seem transient, in that they are ghostly, otherworldly, there and not there, in and out. Objects and figures float around the frame and flicker in and out of the edges of our vision. The tension and action within the frame pushes and pulls our emotions as well as our eyes. This is an epic image. It gives us hope and fills us with awe. It inspires reflection and meditation on sickness and death for sure, but also on the redemptive power of faith. This is both a corporeal and spiritual image. In my humble opinion, Cáceras has outdone the field in addressing the theme with this haunting, complex, and beautiful image.
Can you describe an early experience, that
helped you realize or understand the transience of life?"

Mark Caceres:"In response to Adam's question, yes, I remember when I was a child in the 4th grade attending the funeral of the mother of one of my classmates. I remember the heartache of watching the the grief of my classmate and his family and wondering how I would cope if my own mother had died. It was my first direct experience with mortality and the human need to find meaning and hope despite the transience of life."

Curator Jane Szabo: "The winning image for the exhibit Transience, "After the Fire, The Lazarus Dream" by Mark Caceres, is a haunting image full of poetry. An anonymous figure floats away, just out of reach from a grasping hand. Though three figures exist in the frame, there is a sense of isolation and loneliness. The composition is striking and draws the viewer in to ponder the story. Congratulations to the artist for this winning image."

Mark Caceres says of his work, "These photographs were made at a small Christian church near my home in Smyrna, Georgia. The title 'Messages, Visions, and Dreams' is taken from the part of the weekly Sabbath service in which members of the congregation recount their dreams and the pastor interprets them. Set against the backdrop of the tragic events following the unexplained burning of the church in 2015, these images address the inexplicable, the area of existence found in the subconscious, the ethereal world of dreams. There we attempt to find meaning in the chaos and uncertainty of our physical experience."

Mark Cáceres was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and moved to the United States with his family at a young age. His interest in photography began while he was in college studying anthropology. As an individual with cultural roots outside of the United States, he has always been fascinated by the wide range of cultures both in the U.S. and abroad. His photography seeks to pose questions about culture, identity, and how the viewer is connected to the image. Mark resides in Atlanta, Georgia, USA with his wife and daughter.