The series places people of color within a portrait style that was primarily used for the European upper-class to create a social “contradiction”, forcing viewers to think.
Helfman wanted to create historical documentation of a population that never was. The images subvert the obvious storyline — that social strata often break down along racial lines. Her photos are a “contradiction,” she said, to the stories of inequality that are being told in protests across the United States.
You can view the full article with photos here.