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Ross began taking photographs of people as a way of understanding the emotional world of the strangers around her. In the early 1980s, after several trips to Europe, Ross acquired an 8×10-inch view camera in order to make portraits of ordinary people in public places. Sharing an artistic lineage with the work of Lewis Hine, August Sander, and Diane Arbus, Ross’s images mark a pinnacle of this genre, attesting in the ability of a portrait to glimpse the present, past, and even future of its subject.

Ross’s portraits are made according to a personal impulse and innate interest in the people she meets. The remarkable sense of transparency of the portraits comes from the connection that the photographer establishes each time with the portrayed. Her portraits are largely made in the context of series, ranging from children in Eurana Park, visitors at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, members of the United States Congress during the Iran-Contra affair, students and teachers in the schools of Hazleton, or specific places in northeastern Pennsylvania, where she was born and raised, and where she still lives today.

Curator: Joshua Chang

Fundación MAPFRE

Paseo Recoletos 23

28004 Madrid, Spain


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