America has always been a place of promise and potential. People from all over the world for generations have immigrated to this country for a fresh start, a better future for their children and to become Americans. My interest is in building relationships that explore the roots of immigrant business, the local and specific spaces that give character to any neighborhood. These places are where people carve out space for themselves, their families and new immigrants on their own terms. Through portraiture and photographs of interior spaces, my work renders an essential and often overlooked part of the American economy. Many people think that immigrants come to the United States to “take”, but in reality they contribute to our economy by creating jobs and paying taxes. Immigrants take entrepreneurial risks and are the embodiment of the American dream. My work is a reminder that immigrant owned businesses are as American as it gets.
-Jonathan Michael Castillo