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Barry Salzman reveals The Other Side of Christmas

Barry Salzman is an award-winning contemporary artist who currently works in photography, video and mixed media. His projects have been shown across the globe and his work widely published. He is the recipient of the 2018 International Photographer of the Year award in the Deeper Perspective category of the International Photography Awards (IPA), for a project entitled The Day I Became Another Genocide Victim that addresses the Rwandan genocide.

Salzman’s latest exhibition The Other Side of Christmas will be shown at Deepest Darkest art gallery in Cape Town, South Africa from 7 November to 28 December 2019. This substantial body of work documents everyday scenes across the American South between the 2014 USA mid-term elections, the precursor to the divisive 2016 Presidential elections, and Christmas. It is Salzman’s personal exploration of what it means to be ‘American’.


“The work is a critique of the American Dream. It’s my personal analysis of what I saw and experienced, but is in no way intended to present a factually comprehensive analysis. However, the American Dream was predicated on a certain ethos – democracy, liberty, equality, opportunity. In order for its historical notion to prevail, you need a sense of economic prosperity and upward social mobility through hard work without constraining barriers. I am not convinced that either exist in the US today” says Salzman.

“Historically, immigrants were actively courted by the US – it is a country built on immigrants. Today, however, it is very far from welcoming of immigrants. So I think it is fair to say that the historical notion of the American Dream is an outdated paradigm” continues Salzman.


Salzman was born in Zimbabwe and grew up in South Africa during the Apartheid years, before emigrating to the United States of America (USA), where he has worked for the last 30 years. He has had a lifelong passion for photography, and after an initial business career in New York, he transitioned to working as a full-time artist. He currently resides between New York City and Cape Town, when not travelling for a project or assignment.

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