Photographer and artist Joe Dominguez, based in Phoenix, creates visual anthologies that spotlight environmental racism.
Joe Dominguez is a portrait and fine-art photographer working with painting, analog image-making techniques, and digital photography. Born in El Paso, Texas and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, Dominguez grew up commuting between these two cities near the U.S.-Mexico border and witnessing economic, environmental, and class inequality.
“This visual anthology is grounded in my family’s history and that of other brown families: breathing air poisoned by an oil refinery smokestack in El Paso resulting in asthma and brain and lung damage. As I produce, I alter and re-alter landscapes of the past and future with people, props, and decay. I photograph, digitally and manually collage, and manipulate objects and light as I explore the dark realities of human existence in the face of climate inaction. The loss of loved ones, environmental racism, and a desire for justice fuel me to produce these images.
“The composite images that make up 2092: A Dystopian Forecast span the scope of my projected lifetime. This mix of archival family photos, scenes of protest, personified land in mourning, and found imagery advocate for systemic change in the present while envisioning our world without climate action in the future. If our generation does not take a stand, this planet will swallow us up and move on without us. What will we be remembered for? Will it be for rugged individualism plowing civilization into the ground? Or rebuilding our relationship with Earth? I fight like my life depends on it, because it does.”
Dominguez’s family’s history with pollution has greatly influenced his passion for advocating for equity and environmental justice. Taking inspiration from current events and global issues, his work uses symbolism and fantasy to explore new ways of living in the world. Dominguez received his BFA from the Herberger Institute of Art and Design at Arizona State University in 2021.
Phoenix, AZ | joedominguez.art | @jpg.jo