Documenting the Harvest of the Wild Blueberries in Maine
“David Brooks Stess’ images of the lives of the migrants who work our blueberry barrens are haunting. I don't use that term very often; when I see it, it's usually a copout; however, Stess' pictures of that community do stay with me.
“He has extracted something from the core of the migrants' lives that can only have come from living and working among them… In Stess' work the migrants live in an eternal twilight — as though they are waiting for something to happen, as though waiting for some lineal reward to interrupt their circular lives. To a person with roots in place as deep as mine, Stess' images lower the shades of sadness. You have to be a very good artist to understand the mechanics of this.
“The photographer finds the visual ‘mot juste’ — people working on their trucks, playing with their kids, eating, dancing in the dark — to describe the dense social fabric of the migrant community. His images are beautiful and come from deep within him.”
Arts reviewer for the Maine Sunday Telegram