Category Archives: Art

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.

 

 

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

 

 

Tagged , , , , , , ,

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!

 

 

 

Tagged , , , , ,

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

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

1/2

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.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Wilted in Sunlight

This is my first blog post since August, its rather incredible to acknowledge how disconnected I have become to my work. Its intimidating in the sense of not remembering how to begin again. But really, all you have to do is begin. Its a similar feeling when I complete a photo project, afterwards I feel this sense of loss, a void is present for some time. Then I remember to go out and photograph something, anything, it doesn’t matter what it is, and that reassurance is there and I am reminded of why I choose to use a camera as my artistic tool.

Needless to say, 2016 beat me up a bit. I have accomplished a lot of the goals I set for myself; I moved back to Chicago. I didn’t share the ride with anyone. I spent three days in my car alone with my radio, and crossed Illinois state lines on my birthday, which was pretty great. I reached a goal and upgraded my camera equipment. I also grieved with the rest of the world over Standing Rock, a Trump election, Aleppo, ISIS, the most farcical election season of my life, just to name a few, however, I am grateful for the growth and experience this year has offered me. I feel like a wilted plant sitting in a windowsill of sunshine. Beaten, bruised, aged, yet basking in the harsh light of the world.

 

dsc_0018-edit

 

 

 

Tagged , , , , , ,

Trying To Fit In

What is this life we live? Consume, throw away, repeat. Stripes are in, spots are out. This lipstick, that haircut. Eyebrow trends are actually real. For what? What is the reward of being so vain and desperately needing to project our best selves into the world, cause god forbid we show our real selves… Then everyone would see the flaws we work so hard to cover up. So, we just try to fit in. Conform to the idea of who we are supposed to be, based on what someone or something else said. That same someone or something, has no reference to who we are personally. Something like a magazine, or the media. Someone like the person who writes for them. And we listen like lambs, being led to slaughter.

This is me trying to fit in.

DSC_0460-Edit

 

 

DSC_0440-Edit

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Somewhere Between Earth and Sky

Transition by definition is; the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another. To think of the process in its totality is rather magnificent. I envision it as if we are catapulted off the earth in the most beautiful arc, and when we finally land on our feet, the transformation has taken place and we have evolved. The period of flying, the scary and challenging part, is what fascinates me most. Flying or floating somewhere between Earth and sky, your stomach in knots, doing summersaults as you soar exhilarated and terrified, trying not to look down. Its hard to see clearly when you’re in the middle of your own rebirth, no matter how large or small, yet the view can be stunning, if we stop, take a breath and take notice.

This how I transform.

DSC_0076-Edit

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Feeling of Solitude

Greetings fellow fans and readers, I know I know, its been forever. I’ve had quite the adventure since my last post. Since then, I left LA and moved back to Chicago. The drive was lovely, it was mine and mine alone. I spent three days in the car, with nothing but jams and quiet thoughts. I regret not stopping and taking more photographs, but I was under a deadline. I have not shared with you all the work I made while in LA. Some great work has yet to be posted! I have a pretty demanding job these days, which has affected my ability to post on the regular. I hope to find a balance and be able to make time for my work again (for my own sanity) With that said. I share an image I made in my brother’s yard in Glassell Park, a lovely neighborhood in northeast Los Angeles.

I feel more connected to the narrative of this piece now, then ever before. I have spent more time feeling disconnected to the things that have always ignited me. This bubble of work and sleep is like an out of body experience, as if I am floating high above the artistic burner in me, looking down at someone that I used to know well. The solitude doesn’t bother me, its how its spent that does.

For those of you who don’t know, my botanical portraits invoke the narrative of everyday human emotion and the human condition.

This is my feeling of solitude.

 

feelingofsolitude

 

 

Tagged , , , , , , , ,