A variety of themes are explored in the portraits and accompanying interviews, including the dignity of work, inequity among immigrant nationalities, the political relevance of labor migrants, the intergenerational legacies of inherited skills, the learning of new skills to adapt to the new land of opportunity, and the relationship between a nation’s identity and the identities of the individuals who comprise that nation.

About the Artist:
As a native Californian, Sam Comen has used his home state as a muse throughout his career and often looks to the places that define us for inspiration. He has long focused on themes of American identity, community-building, immigration, democracy, and social justice in his photographic work.

His portrait Jesus Sera, Dishwasher (2019) from the Working America series was awarded Second Prize in the prestigious triennial The Outwin: American Portraiture Today at the National Portrait Gallery in 2019, and his work was on view there in the 2017–18 exhibition The Sweat of Their Face: Portraying American Workers.

His photographs are collected by the Library of Congress, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and private collectors, and he is regularly commissioned by brands and publications internationally.