Zoppé Family CircusI found Giovanni Zoppé and the group setting up in Tucson in January 2014. I ventured back to make some portraits, see the show, and start what will become a documentary film. A wonderful artform, a disappearing spectical, and a wonderful family.
The photographs within this portfolio represent close to a decade documenting the annual "Dia de los Muertos/ Day of the Dead" in the Southwestern portion of the United States and Northern Mexico.
The genesis of this work came from my interest in annual festivals of all sorts which I've been able to photograph while traveling around the globe. Early November every year, Mexican and Latin families gather to celebrate their fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers and friends who have departed our world.
Using elaborate makeup, masks and costumes is only one small part of the celebrations. Many places people gather in cemeteries offering gifts, food and drink, placed on the graves of loved ones.
Throughout the Southwest numerous public gatherings now take place, with parades and music. The majority of this compilation was photographed in Arizona, Tucson and Nogales in particular, with additional images from Mexico, and Texas.
As a work in progress, the annual rights will continue to intrigue me and my cameras.
Joe Patronite Tucson, Arizona USA 2016-2017