Susana Raab was born in Lima, Peru and raised throughout the United States. She is a fine-art and documentary photographer working in Washington, DC, creating personal work in addition to working as the photographer of the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum, documenting the East of the River communities in DC.
The heart of her work is a search for the quotidian, archetypical and ordinary: man’s relationship with his environment, identity within that construct, and transcendence or evolution. Susana’s work has been exhibited internationally and nationally, at venues including: the Corcoran Museum of Art, the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo in Madrid, the Pingyao Photo Festival, Noorderlicht Fotofestival in the Netherlands, and the Art Museum of the Americas in Washington, DC.
Susana has been the recipient of the White House News Photographers’ Project Grant, a DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Artist Fellowship, Honorable Mentions in Center’s Project Competition and Curator’s Choice Awards, and a Puffin Grant, among others. Her work is held in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of American History, The Library of Congress, Division of Prints & Photographs, The Art Museum of the Americas, The EnFoco Collection, and the DC Public Art Bank.
She received her MA in Visual Communications at Ohio University and holds a BA in English Literature from James Madison University.
"Susana Raab is an intuitive observer of everyday life and culture. With a camera in hand, she has created probing photographic series that reveal the essence of ordinary lives, bringing us to a greater understanding of our shared humanity. To create her series, Consumed: Fast Food in the US (ongoing), for example, Raab traveled across the U.S., photographing images that speak to the American obsession with fast food and the pervasive presence of this truly home grown American industry. Images of Ronald McDonald, Colonel Sanders, and other iconic corporate symbols dominate these works. Often shot with a large flash, Raab's images emphasize the highly commercial nature of the fast food business and the artifice that seduces a nation into the drive-thru. An exuberant shot aof a hot dog eating contest at the annual Coney Island 4th of July Hot Dog Eating Contest, nostalgic images of "golden arches" on Main Street, and many poignant pictures of children being indoctrinated into the world of fries and shakes, create a portrait of a nation enamored of food fast, blissfully unaware of where this food comes from and undaunted by it's potential health complications."
-Irene Hofman, curator, SITE Santa Fe