Tag Archives: photography

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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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.

 

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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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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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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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