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