Impact: Homeless in Austin


Joanna Biondolillo
(Johns Island, South Carolina)




25” W x 22” H


Artist Statement:

I began as a portrait photographer in Austin, Texas, but now work almost exclusively in landscape photography and the photo-documentary. Landscape photography is what I do to make a living, on the South Carolina coast. Photo-documentaries are what I do to try to make a difference. Photo-documentaries educate, and take us on a journey of their own. As a film trained photographer, I still use a hand-held light meter. Even though I use a digital camera, all camera settings are posted manually.  I was inducted into the National Association of Women Artists in New York City in November 2019. My work has garnered numerous awards, including, Best Cultural Commentary. I am a three time competitor in the renowned Artfield's competition for my work documenting homelessness and social injustice. Photography is about gathering the light, listening to the landscape, capturing the moment, and documenting what is.


It is illegal for anyone to sleep or camp in a public place in Austin, Texas.(2022) As a result, the homeless have been forced deeper into the shadows in an effort to keep from being sited or arrested for breaking the law. I have come to know many of Austin's homeless. I have known Trey for several years. Our conversations almost always lead to his feelings of despair. He feels he has no value as a black man in America. His homelessness compounds those feelings and he sees no hope for his future. The pain in his eyes reflects the words he had just spoken to me. ""I hate my life. If I could peel my skin off, I would. I hate being black.""