Author Archives: thelensbaby

Sacrificial Rite

During the summer of 2013, my brother was visiting from Los Angeles. We went hiking at Starved Rock, one afternoon in August. Towards the end of our hike, we stumbled upon this dissected raccoon. At first, it appeared to be a product of the circle of life. Then the idea of sacrifice came up for me. Something about the posture, the raccoon was suddenly on display. A totem for sacrificial rite. Then, the metaphor of sacrifice came up, now the raccoon suddenly symbolized an everyday aspect of the human condition. It is all encompassing, a trifecta of give and take.

I have been spending a lot of time going through the archives lately. The aspect of discovery is exceptional.

 

 

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Film Noir State of Mind

I have begun going through my archive of work, sometimes as photographers you need to sit on your work, and only when the iron strikes, you share it. Its intuitive. I took this shot in my bothers basement in LA, a few years ago. My work is highly narrative and emotive. I tend to look at all my fine art work as portraits on the self. I am driven by personal experience and the human condition, the vast forms of expressing ones true self and spirit are endless. There is real beauty in the gift of the phoenix. Yes, she burns, but she also continues to rise, again and again.

We tend to have many lives, within this one lifetime. I like to think of it as the abrupt cuts that are so popular in Film Noir. The shifts our lives take, some shifts happen overnight, and we are left to move with the pace of life or get swallowed by it.

This is my film noir state of mind.

 

 

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Latest Boudoir Session with Annie!

I am finally getting caught up, what a whirlwind of a year I’ve had. I have been slightly off my game, but I spent time traveling both domestically and internationally. I truly have had some life changing experiences that I can’t wait to share with you all. I have a new art project I can’t wait to get off the ground! I’ve been to New Zealand and spent time up in the mountains and now I’m finally home with a shifted perspective. This year taught me a lot and I am grateful.

Here is my latest boudoir session with Annie! I am now booking holiday gift sessions, both individual and couples sessions available.

Message me at courtney@courtneypenzato.com to discuss pricing options and ideas!

 

 

 

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Botanica Obscura

I recently began collaborating with an artist friend of mine. He challenged me to see my work in a new light, almost quite literally. Here is a process shot of what the installation is gonna look like. Animated 2D static images, projected onto a series of scrims to create a “scrim box” or volumetric 3D projection of the animated botanical images.

Botanica Obscura will make its debut at the BWB Luau Fundraiser this Saturday, July 22nd from 2-10 pm. What began as an idea for the luau itself, quickly manifested into an installation I intend to show in more than one venue. If you are interested in showing Botanica Obscura, please get in touch with Gordon Krummel @gsk443 or myself @thelensbaby23

 

 

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Now booking boudoir sessions!!

Greetings fellow followers, it has been a moment since my last post. I have been working diligently to get this new prospect off the ground. My website has not been updated yet, but I wanted to share the news here with you first!

I am now booking boudoir sessions!!!

I will be traveling out of the country for the first three weeks of August, but am booking boudoir sessions for when I get back. You can reach me through my website Courtney Penzato Photography, at courtney@courtneypenzato.com, Facebook and Instagram @thelensbaby23.

Here are some samples of my most recent shoot with the lovely bombshell, Harpy Anna. Follow her Instagram @e.money.art. 

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Bathroom Window

Windows have always been a recurring theme in my work. There is something about them that draws me in. I see them as tiny portraits with a soft anonymity. Outside the frame, I usually know nothing about the people who spend their time on the other side of the glass. The audience is left only to make their own judgements, form connections or experience nostalgia in whatever way behooves them.

The image below is of my own bathroom window, taken from inside the home looking out. This is a new perspective for me, most of the time I am on the outside looking in. The irony is, I equate my images of windows as anonymous portraits as I stated above.  Here it becomes a self-portrait. I see myself as the vine, and this is what the movement of my life looks like.

 

Bathroom-Window-Web

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Anti-Sexist Advertisement

My blog is traditionally a curation of my work, I also use it as a place to discuss things that concern me as a woman, an artist and a human being. Today I want to talk about sex(ism). Its rampant, despite the fact that this is 2017, sexism is everywhere. I experience it on a personal level as well as see people fall prey to it on a daily basis. I am here to tell you that we have had it. The idea of a perfect body, perfect hair, perfect smile, perfect smell, perfect image is false and absurd because we live in an imperfect world and without chaos, nature could not actually do its thing… However though this chaos comes order, and with this order comes imperfect perfection in all things.

Advertisements spread the cancer of sexism like Coca Cola sells high-fructose corn syrup. It is perpetuated with an idea of beauty that simply isn’t real and fueled by capitalism. Let me let you in on a secret, all bodies are good bodies. Period. Here is another secret, we are all human beings. We all poop, have body hair, experience pain and love and so on. Men have nipples because all babies are formed in the womb with the intention of becoming female, it’s not until later, when the sex organs develop that it is decided if those nipples will eventually become breasts. We are all feminine and we are all masculine, and however you feel the most comfortable is where you are meant to be.

In discussing body hair and advertising, here is a lesson on why and when women began shaving their armpits:

It wasn’t until 1915 that American women began shaving under their arms. The reason they did so was directly related to advertising! The sleeveless dress made its debut in the fashion world in a Harper’s Bazaar ad. Modern dancing and sleeveless dresses made objectionable hair out! And then of course, a flood of anti-armpit hair ads followed. Before long, being hairless was a thing and body hair (being human) was something to be embarrassed about. It was also was another way for marketeers to tell women how to feel about their bodies, and people got rich because of it. The idea that someone profits off of our insecurities makes me sick to my stomach, never should there be profits made on someones pain.

Lets take this a step further, what if there were no rules? What if advertising welcomed all types of people.

This is my anti-sexism advertisement.

 

 

 

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Struggle

I when choose to use myself as subject, I hope to convey a certain vulnerability that resides within the human condition. My self-portraits draw from my own personal experiences, and through an abstract approach I detach from my physical self while maintaining a tone that is emotional and narrative. I believe human emotion is the binding thread of our civilization. If you took everything else away, pain is still pain and love is still love. Someone once told me that, ‘You can’t measure pain. Its relative. We all experience it in our own way.’ Through using my physical self, I strive to use my form as a vessel to convey something beyond the physicality of the body itself.

This is struggle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Getting back in the swing of things…

This self-portrait was taken in my bathroom. Backlit and intentionally blurred to capture a certain ambiguity on the human form. By removing facial recognition, I intend to create an anonymity with the subject and the viewer, hoping the work acts like a reflection of the person in front of it. The idea of one half of something, two parts that make one whole fascinates me. Duality exists in all facets of human experience. I pose as a metaphor for non-binary culture, the figure in the image could be my feminine side or it could be my masculine side. It is simply one half of the human form.

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Tiny Vignettes of Life

In continuation with my series of intimate portraits of plant life, I’ve titled this piece Tiny Vignettes of Life because I feel it is important, especially in the current political climate, to hold onto ones own humanity. This photo could be a tiny vignette into any one person’s day. Maybe while doing laundry on a rainy day in November, the way the light falls on drying plant hanging in a window catches your eye, so you take note. In fact, I was doing laundry, and the light did catch my eye, but it was January in Chicago, and snow had now been replaced by rain, even thunder storms. During a time when climate change is denied,  our education system on the verge of being privatized, the very real possibility of the DAPL being constructed, our civil rights at stake; loving our neighbor and embracing our empathy as intelligent beings has never been more crucial.

In this fast changing world, holding onto the moments that make me feel human have helped manage the stress of what is potentially to come. Cooking a communal meal, observing the light and how it falls on an object, participating in good conversation, watering my plants and reading are rituals of living. What are some of your rituals? What makes you feel human?

I’m interested in what you have to say. Please send stories of your human experience to courtney@courtneypenzato.com.

 

Ting Vignettes of Life

 

 

 

 

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