Loud Mouth

In response to the thirty million people whole lost their healthcare overnight and to the fifty-five million women who will no longer be able to afford birth control. Women who are no longer given the simple human right to be in control of our own fucking bodies. The only thing that truly belongs to us, nothing was ever promised. We were never entitled to anything, other than what we were born with. Skin. Thats all. Skin. If we aren’t allowed to be the boss over our own bodies, then what can we control? In a time when abortions are next to illegal, overpopulation and a limited resource epidemic, climate change; more women are left without access to birth control?!  When you think about it, they are telling us that we aren’t allowed to decide whether or not we want children, suppressing our libido and keeping us in check. It is a mans world after all. We all better behave. To live in a country whose leaders don’t care about the safety and wellbeing of other people, says a lot about the place. It is clear that according to the current political structure, and perhaps for previous political structures, humanity is expendable.

Recently, I have begun taking self-portraits again. My self-portraits usually obscure my face, blur my features and fall somewhere in-between abstraction and narrative. In talking about gender without actually portraying gender, the conversation becomes about the neutrality of gender itself. Gender roles are learned behaviors, we don’t come out of the womb “knowing how to sew” if we are born with female genitalia. The same goes for people born with male genitalia, the genitals you’re born with don’t determine your gender either. Sometimes the universe gets it wrong. I always attempt to encompass my feminine and masculine energy into my self-portraits, because both are equally important.

In a culture where they tell you that exercising your freedom of speech is unlawful, be loud. Scream if you must, stand up and demand human rights. As a woman, living in a patriarchal society, where men tell me what to do with my body, determine how much money I make, what I should be doing with my life, whether or not I should bear children, get married etc, its important for me be bold, daring and unapologetic.

This is my loud mouth.

 

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Like Water

I did quite a bit of hiking this past summer. My camera and my journal were always present, sometimes I had company and sometimes not. I never thought of myself as a “landscape photographer”, but I’m sure other photographers can attest that being in the presence of nature, its hard not to capture its beauty on camera. It became my meditation, the pressure of telling the story became nonexistent. I was simply documenting the majesty of my surroundings, which I do no matter what. In nature, it was different.

The passing of 2016 got me thinking about water. There has been a lot of drama surrounding water in this past year. It is imperative to our survival here on Earth, and without it we perish. Water is persistent and steady. Its patient and moves at its own pace. It can be fierce and powerful, calming and healing.

Lets all be like water in 2017. Be steady, persistent with our goals; patient and learn from failures and mistakes. Be fierce, use the power we all possess in healthy and effective ways to ignite change and spread positivity. Stand up for whats right, knowing that it won’t be popular. Breathe life into all that you do, and everyone you know. Be love and be light.

Be like water.

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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.

 

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Framing Spaces

For those of you who know me, know that I tend to wear many hats. For those of you that might not know me as well as some of the many people in my life, may not know all of the different types of hats I wear.

My artwork is what drives me, transforming a feeling, a persona, an object or a moment into something tangible is exhilarating. Feeling like I have the ability to stop time, every time I press the shutter, is like being part of  a secret club. This remains true even when I frame a space. With proper light and the right lens, I have the ability to transform a room, highlighting what makes the space special, and why someone would want to live there.  Some of you may already know that do architectural photography for both commercial and residential real estate; one of the many hats I wear daily. For those of you that don’t, here are the images from my most recent session. This is a two bedroom unit, located in the new development on Milwaukee, just west of Damen.

I am currently accepting new clients. In addition to that, all new clientele will receive a 50 percent discounted rate for their first session! If you or anyone you know is in need of a real estate photographer please send them to my website www.courtneypenzato.com, or reach out on Facebook at www.facebook.com/courtneypenz.

Have a great day everyone!

 

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Scream Silent

Two months without a post, I feel like thats the longest I’ve ever gone. I have been shooting a lot of photographs over the last two months, compiling a body of work for this new direction  I fell into, sort of by accident, which does not surprise me. I’ve fallen into a lot of things, seemingly by accident in my life. I will begin posting the images I’ve been shooting after I complete this post. I have been absolutely loving it. I am ready to take the work to the next step, and I plan on telling you all about it.

Despite my connection to the new body of work, I have felt an immense disconnection to the world in which I inhabit. The state of affairs is frightening and maddening at the same time. It’s devastating and absurd. I want to reach out to fellow human beings and say, “Why are you so fucking angry?” all the while I sit here biting my fingers and furrowing my brow, in disgust at the motivation behind such atrocities. The ignorance behind it all, the willful ignorance is enough to make me vomit. My heart has broke many times as of late. I wake up, and scream silently into my pillow, in hopes to meet catharsis for breakfast, before I go about my day.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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You Are Here

sometimes we have to get

a bit lost

in order to be found

You Are Here

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