Monthly Archives: April 2015

Blue Flower

I think it is safe to say that I am in the midst of a “blue period” as well as a “square period” I began taking photographs of flowers last summer, when I began my self-portraits. There is something about the combination of blue and yellow that draws me. The split-tone signifies a certain divide within the image. In my self-portraits it is a divide within the self, in the Blue Flower series, it is the divide of man and nature. There is an ever-present disconnect that perpetuates like a cancer from the beauty and wonders around us. We simply are “turned off” to the world and “turned on” to Facebook, the web, email, Instagram and whatever other digital or trivial distraction tickles our fancy.

Furthermore, there is the metaphor of the square or “box” if you will. I am a female and I have a box of sorts, “This box contains… sharp objects.” The stigma that clings to the feminine principle throughout theosophical and philosophical history is most present in the modern age. After all, it was Eve that lured Adam to eat the forbidden fruit wasn’t it? In Greek mythology, the gods created women to punish man using temptation and seduction. The sexual power women have held and still have to this day, has been quite the double-edge sword, to say the least. In ancient Middle-Eastern culture, women were worshiped as goddesses because of what our bodies of capable of. In the Tantra, the closest men could get to God, was through sexual intercourse with women. Women have the power to make life, to make breath, a miraculous endeavor and miracles can only be created by God. Therefore, men used this in order to get close to the Higher Power.

And then of course, the representation of the flower is quite obvious. And in keeping with this concept of duality, it also exists amongst plant life. Plants have sex in their own plant way. They have masculine as well as feminine parts; the carpel and the stamen and with the help of bees, are able to “get it on.”

I also plan on finishing this work in encaustics and maybe include them as interment images amongst my self-portrait series… I have yet to decide, but I see the connection in a metaphorical way.

 

Queen Ann's Lace

 

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Vintage Selfie

In addition to the self-portraits I have been making over the last several months, I also have been shooting a lot of Impossible Project film; I will be publishing a zine of my Impossible Series within the next few months. I stumbled upon this image while scanning my Impossible images so they can be displayed on my new website; which should be live in the next four weeks, and I thought it was well suited with what I have been sharing. It also got me thinking about the “selfie” vs. the self-portrait. In a society where selfies are everywhere, literally, everywhere, what separates the two? If you think back to the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, Polaroid cameras were the iPhone’s and Android’s of today. However, the term “selfie” as we know it today; amongst many working photographers and art enthusiasts alike, is somewhat frowned upon. Is it simply because cellphones are a digital tool? Or is it more of a nuisance than anything else because we are constantly bombarded with that “selfie face”?

Both Robert Maplethorpe and Andy Warhol used Polaroids as a medium for self-portraiture and the work is revered by most. Is it because these images were taken with an “analog” format? And furthermore, in 50 years will our modern day selfie be as revered as the work of both Maplethorpe and Warhol? I personally prefer to not take selfies, yet I will snap one with my Polaroid. This separation fascinates me merely because, it is so pretentiously hippocratic. Art itself is both pretentious and hippocratic, so it is no surprise that many enthusiasts feel the way they feel about selfies. Artists contradict the culture in which we reside all the time. I find it funny, its only a perpetuation of what has been happening all along.

 

Vintage Selfie

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The Bath

“There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them.”

-Sylvia Plath

Untitled 3

 

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Self

I took this last summer, right after I shaved my head. In January of 2014, I turned 30. It was a milestone for me, I kicked my 20’s out the door like a bad habit. I felt ready. Ready to take on whatever came my way. And… things came. Things I am not willing to discuss publicly, but things that will be embedded in my final piece of this project and gifted to you as my viewer. When those things seemed to fall apart, I made the executive decision to shave my head. I have had some rendition of a pixie haircut since 2008 and have been very connected to my androgynous side for many years. When I shaved my head it was for no one but myself. I didn’t donate my hair to Locks of Love or shave my head for St. Baldricks, there is nothing wrong with charity, in fact I am a big fan, however, there was something about it being just for me that was truly special. At that time, I did it to maintain my own sanity. As drastic as that sounds, its the truth. In shedding this piece of my physical identity, it allowed me the clean slate to reinvent who I was, cause at that time, I wasn’t exactly sure anymore.

I surprised myself in feeling more FEMININE as opposed to feeling more MASCULINE or ANDROGYNOUS. I found myself wearing a lot more sun dresses and earrings became my best friend. I suddenly saw my face, without any hair to frame it. My eyes got bigger, my cheekbones much more pronounced. I was the snake that shed its own skin in order to grow new skin in its place.

What have I become?

My sweetest friend

Everyone I know

Goes away in the end

Hurt by NIN resonated in my ears during that time, and I did what I only know how… Shoot. So I began my journey exploring who I am, with the only weapon I have. My camera. And this is what came out. Again. Unfinished, but here is the first layer of the onion.

Untitled 2

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Self

As I explore myself by turning my camera on myself, I realize just how much I have to say. There is something about reaching inside and pulling something out as opposed to looking outward for my subject and pulling that subject in. In the last several months I have been exploring self-portraiture. As Voltaire said, “I hate writing but love having written.” That sums it up pretty precisely for me. I have been identifying mostly as an expressionist, somewhat like a painter if you will. Less so as a photographer while I continue to pick apart my insides and put them up in display.

Here is a sneak peak of what I’ve been up to the last several months… They are far from finished. They will not look much like this when they are done. I need to encaustic, collage, paint, write, draw and manipulate them quite a bit more. I felt like sharing the general idea of where I am going. I am learning that with self-portraiture, everything is pre-visualized. Very little is left up to chance. I chose to use split-tone to emphasize the dual nature of being. For example, feminine/masculine, order/chaos, bitter/sweet, yin/yang. I feel that we are constantly at war with ourselves, fighting the duality that exists within us and around us. I feel it is through acceptance that we will finally be set free. I chose blue and yellow based on what both of those colors represent. Enjoy!Untitled 1

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