Project Description

"There Is Nothing Beautiful Around Here is a photobook about the struggling city of Richmond, California, a place that has a reputation as being one of the most crime ridden parts of the Bay Area. The book depicts unexpected moments in a place where people have come to expect only ugliness and suffering."  — Paccarik Orue Richmond, California is a place where many families are struggling with rising unemployment, foreclosure, poverty, and the ensuing violence and substance abuse. This situation has accentuated Richmond’s reputation for being one of the roughest parts of the Bay Area. However, Richmond is also a place where turkeys walk past on the sidewalks, dogs guard their owner’s properties, people ride horses in the park, and fire hydrants cool the hot afternoons. During one of my visits, a middle-aged African American woman asked me why I was taking pictures in her neighborhood. I answered that it was beautiful. She responded, “there is nothing beautiful around here.” Beauty and sorrow live side by side in Richmond. This body of work documents this contradiction, the character of the city and the pride of its residents.

“Here we see Orue meander through the streets of Richmond, California, but in the pages of this book the wandering photographer has collected a beautiful series of ephemeral moments. The story unfolds from a place to be avoided, to a place that holds a deep complexity and unique characteristics. Individually these are subtle photographs, but in a collection, Orue has put together a powerful series that comments on both the human condition and individual compassion”

- Antone Dolezal, Managing Editor, photo-eye Magazine 

About the Artist

Paccarik Orue was born and raised in Lima, Peru and resides in San Francisco, California where he earned a BFA from the Academy of Art University. His work has been shown at SF Camerawork, Book & Job Gallery, Carte Blanche, Contemporary Art Center New Orleans and it has been featured in Juxtapox, Conscientious, Fototazo, Lenscratch, Feature Shoot among others. He has been awarded En Foco’s New Works Photography Fellowship Award (2013-2014.) Orue was one of the artists selected to participate in Rayko Photo Center’s Artist-in-Residency program in 2015.