Posts tagged Photography
Studio Sunday: Karen Navarro
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Our Studio Sunday interview this week highlights the work of photographer Karen Navarro. Learn more about what inspires her colorful, figurative images, her creative process, and the motto that keeps her going in tough times! You can also view two of Karen’s works in ‘Faces & Figures’, a group exhibition presented by PxP Contemporary.

Bio

With a background in fashion design, Argentina-born artist, Karen Navarro, works with a highly stylized aesthetic in a diverse array of mediums that includes photography, collage, and sculpture. Her constructed portraits, as she describes it herself, are known for the use of color theory, surreal scenes and minimalist details. Navarro’s work expresses self-referential questions that connect in a much larger scale to ideas of construction of identity, societal expectations and the understanding of the being; prompting a discourse about the subconscious will to comply with the contemporary societies' canons when these are in fact misleading. Similarly, Navarro explores in her work femininity as a cultural construct.

Navarro has lived in Houston since 2014 where she completed the certificate program in photography at the Houston Center for Photography. In 2018, Navarro was awarded a scholarship at the Glassell School of Art | The Museum of Fine Art Houston where she studied analog photography. Most recently, she received the Artadia fellowship in 2019.

Navarro's work has been exhibited in the US and abroad. Her most recent shows include ones at the Elisabet Ney Museum in Austin, TX (2019), Presa House Gallery in San Antonio, TX (2019), Melkweg in Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2019), Museo de la Reconquista in Tigre, Argentina (2018), The Union in Houston, TX (2018), and Houston Center for Photography in Houston, TX (2018).

Statement

Driven by an insatiable curiosity about understanding the self and the resulting human behaviors shaped by social norms. Furthermore, understanding the role of social norms in the construction of personal and social identity, my work seeks answers and proposes questions that may not yet have a predetermined answer.


Through the use of color theory, surreal scenes and minimalist details, the constructed portraits, as I like to call them, recreate a character that usually doesn’t have an identity. My photo process blurs those lines of identity by disguising, hiding and covering the faces. In the performative photographs, often times, the characters are isolated in a serene environment. I believe photography allows me the expression of self-referential questions. By expressing personal worries, my work appeals to connect these ideas to a much larger scale of ideas of construction of identity, societal expectations and the understanding of the being; prompting a discourse about the subconscious will to comply with the contemporary societies' canons when these are in fact misleading.

When did you first become interested in art? 

I first became interested in art while doing a photography assignment for an art class in high school. But I would say that I grew up surrounded by an artistic environment, my grandmother was a dressmaker and my grandfather, who I didn't get the chance to meet, liked to draw. I remember spending my childhood days with my grandmother in her atelier. And, I think that was what led me to study fashion design and then photography. My fashion design training had a strong art program. I gained a general overview of art and history but it wasn't until I came to Houston that I started to get more interested in the contemporary art world and the art scene.


Tell us about what inspires you creatively.

My inspiration comes from different sources. Color, lighting and shadow from the everyday can inspire a mood. I usually use these moods to approach new artwork and link it to philosophical ideas, self-referential questions, or something else in what I believe in and I want to share. Looking at artwork and specially from the Surrealist, Renaissance and Cubist periods brings a lot of inspiration. I'm interested in the concept of identity so I explore it in many different ways. Photography for me is about creating conversations, making relevant a topic that may be only relevant for me. It's about inviting people to question along with me. My work doesn't offer answers because I don't believe in absolute truths. And, in the in-between of this dichotomy of not believing in absolute truths and having an opinion at the same time is where I position myself every time I approach a new body of work. Inviting you, seducing you through a highly stylized image to reflect on topics that may challenge our social notions.

What is your process like?  

Usually, everything starts on the sketchbook, then I pay a visit to the warehouse to buy some painting to paint the backdrop wall. After that I go to the thrift store to get some clothing and some props to prepare for the photo shoot. In my performative photographs I create characters, for this reason I meticulously arrange the elements in the scene. Although, while in the photo shoots I allow myself to get creative and try new things, I don't stick entirely to the sketchbook. 

Since my work is evolving and I am working on new mediums, like collages and soon sculpture, my process changes according to the work I am doing. For example in my last series of collages "El Pertenecer en Tiempos Modernos"  I added laser-cutting, 3-D printing, and embossing.


Describe your current studio space. What is most important about it or one thing that you can’t live without in your work area?

I like to call my studio ‘big white box’. I love the high ceilings and how airy it is. Natural lighting is something I can't live without. My studio has small window that faces the top of a tree. I enjoy looking at the the wind blowing the tree with the sky on the background. During the mornings the sunlight is very beautiful. For me, my studio is my sacred temple, everything has to be in order and be very minimal for me to be able to concentrate.

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What is one piece of advice that has stuck with you or a quote that you think is especially meaningful?

My motto is from a Spanish saying, Persevera y triufarás, which translated literally into the English language means Persevere and you will Triumph. If at first you don't succeed, try and try again. 

Are there any exciting exhibitions, projects, or collaborations going on this year that you’re currently working on or will be soon?

Yes! There are two things I‘m very excited to share. I'm currently working on some sculptures that explore the notion of body and beauty. It’s an extension of my body of work “Soft Objects”. I’m currently at the first stage, but am very excited about it!

I’m also organizing and co-curating a show called “Alternate Pathways”. The show celebrates Houston’s cultural diversity and has received a grant from the city. The show opens on October 19th 6-8 PM at 2315 Union St, Houston, TX 77007⁣⁣. 

Color Washed Photography Inspired by Nature By Kristin Hart
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"Color washed Photography inspired by nature." 

Kristin Hart is a Florida based artist. Her pieces have a sense of calmness and dreamlike, almost otherworldly beauty. Often while editing, she adds washes of soft pastel color and accentuates the light to help express the emotions that she felt in that moment in time. Kristin's photography is a self-reflective and emotional journey, a way for her to document and visually express what is inside of her, with the primary objective of making the viewer feel a sense of peaceful and spiritual elevation.

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Studio Sunday: Veneta Karamfilova
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In this week’s Studio Sunday feature, learn more about Veneta Karamfilova, an artist and photographer from Bulgaria! Veneta creates beautiful images, largely focused on women and flowers, that have a flair for drama and immediately catch a viewer’s attention with isolated figures against a stark background. She has received awards from PX3 Prix de la Photographie Paris, the Tokyo International Foto Awards, and Fine Art Photography Awards and is currently exhibiting two works in PxP Contemporary’s inaugural show ‘Pilot.’

Statement

To me, photography is an exploration of the mind. A kind of fiction, offering a glimpse of a coexisting reality. A way of seeing a world floating between unspoken dreams yet-to-be and the endless nostalgia for the time that has never been, with a surreal motif. 

Since photography is born in a split-second, I find it being the perfect medium to show a fraction of a supposed reality. A fraction that does not describe, but merely suggests. A fraction that has no beginning or an end, but is bound to have an afterlife, long and rich as the viewer’s memory. 

The two main subjects I explore are women and flowers, as flowers are often associated with women and femininity. 

My woman is a silent inhabitant of an alternative place that provides an escape from the passage of time. She is both strong and fragile. The center and only a fragment of something greater; a suggestion for something more.

Flowers are usually associated with women because of the idea of new life; a rebirth after the winter. Yet since they fade quickly, flowers are also linked with death. In my photographs, a slice of this birth-to-death shift is suspended in time. 

Tell us how you first became interested in art and why it led you to the work you create today.

I guess I've always had the urge to create. I wanted to paint, but wasn't very good at it, so photography was a great substitute. Being able to seize the passage of time is an amazing ability. It's like magic, defying all physical laws of nature and at the same time being possible thanks to these same physical laws. I still sometimes paint. Just for my own pleasure of watching how the colors mix, the texture of the paint and how it all comes together in this perfect memory of how I felt. Painting is my other kind of magic. One that can capture a moment that has already passed.

Can you explain a bit about the inspiration behind your work?

The fragile beauty of flowers has always fascinated me for being so apt a metaphor of how ephemeral life is. It's a poetic tragedy. I'm here, I'm beautiful and I'm going to die.

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What is your process like?

Some of the flowers I photograph are bought from the market, some are found on the street, and others come from my own garden. I might plant a bulb in the autumn and wait for the spring, to photograph it. Or I might find something on my way to the market, pick it and photograph it half an hour later. So I guess my process is a kind of flexible.

What do you hope your viewers take away from seeing your photographs?

I hope my viewers realize that real beauty is in diversity and imperfection. Тhese stereotypes of what is beautiful that we get bombarded every day are just an illusion. My flowers are all different. Just like us they come in all shapes and sizes; blooming or decaying; being whole or missing a petal or two. It's all of these little differences and "imperfections" that make each and everyone unique and thus interesting. For me beauty has always been associated with making an impression and being remembered. And you only get to be remembered if you are different from everyone else.

What one piece of creative or business advice would you give to your younger self?

I lost a lot of time thinking that I don’t have what it takes; that I didn’t have the skills, the equipment, etc. It took me quite a while to deal with that and make a move. I still don't have a fancy camera, nor do I have a studio. Most of my flowers (including the two, part of PxP Contemporary exhibition "Pilot") are shot at a corner of my kitchen, beautifully lit by two windows. But I learned that having an idea is the most important thing. The rest is just figuring out a way to make it happen. And you do by making small steps. So I’d tell myself: “Don’t think too much! Just go for it! Make that first step and then make the next one!”

Are there any exciting exhibitions, projects, or collaborations going on this year that you’re currently working on or will be soon?

I'm currently working on a new series, inspired by opera and ballet. I am a huge fan of both, so I suppose marrying them and photography is only natural. Opera and ballet stories are timeless. Love, hate, murder, heartbreak, betrayal, greed, power, conspiracy, women's abuse are still current issues in our days, centuries after their performances. This project is a personal interpretation of pieces of some of the world's most famous operas and ballets. The images are created by infusing my vision with parts of the libretto and the emotions felt, while listening to a particular piece. They are a kind of fiction, offering a selective personal view of the story. The fragile beauty of music born in a split second and trapped in it for eternity.

PxP Contemporary Gallery Launch | 'Pilot' Exhibition
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Create! Magazine and PxP Contemporary are pleased to announce the launch of our online gallery and first-ever exhibition, Pilot. Like the premiere episode of an exciting new television series, we are thrilled to be bringing you a first look at our platform, our artists, and our curatorial style. The story behind the gallery is simple: we want to create a place where buying affordable works by talented artists from around the world is a seamless digital experience.

This first show will bring together highlights from our new roster of represented artists as well as several additional artists that we've invited specifically for this exhibition:

Anna Shukeylo
Brooke Sauer
Eliana Marinari
Huy Lam
Jennifer Small
Jenny Brown
Kestin Cornwall*
Kristen Elizabeth
Marc Scheff
Michelle Lee Rigell
Molly Mansfield
Phyllis Gorsen
Samantha Boni*
Samantha Morris
Seth Remsnyder
Shamona Stokes
Veneta Karamfilova

Any questions regarding Pilot or the gallery in general can be addressed by contacting Co-directors Alicia Puig and Ekaterina Popova at 
info@pxpcontemporary.com.

*Please note that italicized works are shipping from outside of the Unite States and require special shipping arrangements. If you are interested in purchasing works by these artists, please email us directly at info@pxpcontemporary.com. Payment plans are available upon request.

Pilot Exhibition Preview

For full artwork details including size, medium and year, please visit: www.pxpcontemporary.com

The Human Side of the Marginalized: Interview with Jenn Terrell
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Jenn Terrell is a portrait and documentary photographer. Jenn’s work showcases a wide range of topics and individuals, ranging from portrait sessions to sharing the stories of sexual assault survivors, all presented with a raw, honest aesthetic. She lives in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Statement
I want to use the power of the photograph to create connections and bring people together. I aim to do that by showing the very human side of the marginalized. I want people to feel the tears of trauma, the scars of abuse and the pain that relates us all.

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What is your favorite part about working with photography?

I have a passion for people, from all walks of life. With my camera, I feel I have the power to tell stories; stories of the oppressed and marginalized in society. I feel it is my responsibility to use my privilege to address social issues, educate, and effect change.

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How has your style evolved into what it is today?

My style has evolved from bright compositions to creating darker, more moody scenes. I find it more authentic to show how things actually were. In addition, a documentary style is much more indicative of the style of my work these days.

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Does the way that you create photographs change depending on your subject?

Working with different subjects changes the way I photograph, specifically the reasoning for the shoot. Family shoots, couple shoots, and styled shoots are much more laid back and relaxed. My biggest goal with those is to make sure the subjects feel comfortable with me so that I am photographing them as who they really are. Photographing to try and inspire change is different. When I photographed victims of sexual assault for the Hidden Reality Project, it was very raw and difficult. These women were pouring out their souls to me and many of them still had not completely dealt with the trauma they had experienced, particularly ones that received no justice. I tried to be extremely sensitive to what they were going through and I paused the photographing as many times as needed to help them get through telling me their stories. I think the photoshoots were a bit of a resolution for some of the women. I believe most women have been through some kind of sexual assault or harassment and sadly we can all relate and connect through those horrific experiences. So I think for some of the women they were able to talk to me about this and I could respond with some knowledge of where they are coming from and why they felt certain things.

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What are you currently working on?

Right now I am working on finishing up the design of a poetry book by a Haitian American woman that I did photographs for as well. I am also designing my own photobook that includes stories from sexual assault survivors that I have collected over the years. I also have a few more versions of my project called "Femina" which explores femininity in the modern day.

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Do you prefer working on styled shoots and more controlled projects or events where the environment is less controlled?

I really enjoy both controlled shoots and documentary style. The most rewarding, though, is always photographing to tell the stories of the marginalized that have the potential to inspire change or just to inspire people. That can come from either a styled shoot or a documentary style shoot.

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You have three projects on view on your website, Hidden Reality project, The depression Project, and Femina project. Can you tell us a little about those projects and how they originated?

The Depression Project (jennterrell.com/the-depression-project) was the first full series that I ever completed. I started it because I was very close to someone who had pretty severe depression. I didn't know much about it so I researched and researched. I couldn't believe all of the information I was finding. I thought more people should know about this to understand what others are going through. I wanted more people to have the epiphany that I had. I thought a great way to get that information out is to have it come firsthand from a variety of people living with depression. I got a variety of firsthand accounts as well as stories of spouses and family members of those dealing with depression. The project became a sort of therapy for me too.

The Hidden Reality Project (jennterrell.com/hiddenrealityproject) came next. I kept thinking back to a night in 2008 when I hosted a girls’ night at my apartment in college. Nine women from various parts of Arkansas who all moved there to go to college came to my apartment that night. We were sitting in a circle talking and one girl starting talking about her son. We were all a little baffled that she had a son. We started showering her with questions. “How old is he? Is the dad in your life? How difficult is it to have a child in school?” She answered the first question with “He is 9.” We were all shocked. She was our age (19-24) and she had a nine-year-old!?! Is this possible? At this point, she decided to share with us the horrific story of how she lost her virginity by being raped while she was passed out at a party. She didn’t even know she wasn’t a virgin until her doctor told her she was pregnant. This story sparked stories from other girls in the circle about their own rape experiences. At one point I looked around the room and asked who all had been raped. I was the only person who did not raise their hand. Little did I know by the time I turned 24, I would be able to raise my hand too. This gathering was where I realized sexual assault was a much bigger problem than I had ever imagined. Young women from all different cities of the same state shared a similar fate when it came to rape. What a horrible thing to have in common. I never forgot that night and still think about it often. It was the inspiration for the Hidden Reality project where I also shared my own story.

Femina (jennterrell.com/femina) is my current ongoing project. It started with a group boudoir photo shoot that I did to showcase a variety of women. The photo shoot ended up being so much more than that. On the day of the shoot, all of the women came together and problem solved as soon as tiny setbacks happened. Each time we did individual shots of one woman from the group, the others would gather around and encourage her and tell her how beautiful she was. This type of love and togetherness fostered the perfect environment for this photoshoot. I never would have dreamed up this day the way it happened. It was amazing and inspiring for me to see how this group of women, who were mostly strangers, interacted and helped to produce a raw and beautiful set of photographs. This spurred an ongoing project about exploring femininity. I just finished up the second installment of the series with a diverse group of 3-7-year-old girls. They wore black dresses, leggings, pants, and jackets to foster a look of togetherness. They held hands, sang twinkle, twinkle, little star and laughed and played together throughout the photoshoot.

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What advice would you like to give to people who want to start their photography careers?

Work, work, work. Work pretty much every day. If you truly love it, it will feel natural. Focus on your craft and create. A mentor of mine, painter Hubert Neal, Jr., once said that even if he was making no money at painting and was poor he would still be a painter. This made me realize that no matter what I do, I have to be all in. Photography is my passion and I am all in no matter if that means no money or lots of money.

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Credits: 

Photographer: Jenn Terrell Photography

Hair: Giovanna Barboza

Make up: Brushed By Shae

Planner & Creator of the amazing crowns: Sonnet Weddings

Models: Destiny LaNeé, Tylr DeShae Mustin,J'Aaron Merchant, Monique Beilby, Cynthia Hernandez, Jasmine Hudson, Jessie Wagner

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Annie Scull
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Annie Scull is currently studying photography at the Southeast Center for Photographic Studies in Daytona Beach, Florida. She has been in love with the medium from a young age, and has always seeked visual imagery for allegory.

The body of work submitted for this contest depicts the relationship of societal standards which are shrouded on woman’s identity. The feminine imagery suggests the role of women, whereas the cloth represents her restraints granted by society, as she deters from the past.

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Jiela Rufeh
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Jiela Rufeh was born in Boston, Massachusetts of German and Persian descent. She grew up in the small colonial town of Concord, encompassed by a rich cultural and literary history. The lush New England wilderness has served as inspiration to great thinkers who resided there such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. Growing up, Rufeh’s mother was a working artist who started taking she and her brother to all the greatest museums in Europe at a very young age. After years of eye rolling, all the early exposure became a source of inspiration for Rufeh when she fell in love with the work of Georgia O’Keefe after seeing her iconic large-scale paintings of flowers at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Rufeh’s education and professional life have taken her across the country from DC, New York, and Boston to San Diego where she currently lives and works. She first attended American University as a Communications major but transferred to University of Syracuse to study Photography and Sculpture. While there, she was introduced to the work of Irving Penn, whose technical virtuosity with a lens and cutting-edge aesthetic remains her biggest photographic influence. Rufeh then went on to do post-graduate work at the International Center of Photography in New York. She began interning at Harper’s Bazaar, quickly making her way through the ranks of the photography world of NYC with the goal of being a fashion photographer. Penn’s work made her realize that she didn’t have to sacrifice her creative impulses to work in commercial photography.

After a year, Rufeh went to California to studio lighting at the prestigious Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara and work in commercial advertising. She was swept up in the digital revolution, learning all the newest digital media tools under one of LA’s hottest commercial photographers. She worked to overcome the obstacles inherent to photographers emerging within the paradigm of new media, not to mention for photographers and photo-assistants that were female. Missing the intrinsic stir she had received from sculpture, the possibilities of new media inspired Rufeh to begin experimenting with incorporating different materials—especially encaustic—into her photography. It was a way of rebelling against her commercial work and pushing the photo to a place where it wasn’t allowed to go in the commercial world.

Aside from working as a commercial photographer for more than 20 years, Rufeh has been exhibited nationally for over a decade with multiple solo exhibitions in Berlin, Germany. The last few years have been the most exciting for Rufeh’s career as an artist. She now devotes all her time to her studio, volunteer work, and meditation practices while maintaining a consistent presence amongst the Southern California art scene, exhibiting most recently at the Museum of Latin American Art and the William D. Cannon Art Gallery. She works to develop new photo techniques that push her work into different genres and hopes that her art will continue to generate discussion regarding new media and environmental issues.

Statement

Visual art is an immediate expression of meaning—a commentary on things personal, societal, or even universal—and it has a unique energy. This unfolding universal energy has been an evolving interest of mine and my work has been influenced by my study of it and its manifestation throughout different cultures. It is a quest that cannot be separated from our daily lives.

Nature to me is an obvious place to start when dealing with these themes. We can see ourselves in the shapes of nature and in the way all its various elements affect one another. There are also man-made structures and landscapes that reflect our nature in a different way; years of layered graffiti reveal an undocumented history of creativity. But the insistent beckoning of nature is the hardest to ignore.

I travel extensively to remote natural locations to take photographs that explore my concepts and to be completely absorbed by the elements around me ‐ the colors, the smells, the silence, the peace, the wind brushing against my skin, the warmth of the sun… all awaken my senses.

When I come back to the studio I never really know where the photograph will take my painting. To be of worth, art must be expressive, sharing an artist’s thoughts and feelings. For me, feelings are paramount. The picture speaks to my gut and my body responds instinctively, emotionally, with color, texture or the absence thereof. My goal is that this visceral approach allows me to communicate something personal that becomes universal.

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Eunmi Mimi Kim
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Each of experiential researches (4.0) are part of the self-experiment series that focus on sensory isolation in order to explore atypical, eccentric, but rather introspective methods that enable me to establish a diverse spectrum within my own comfort zone to get away from a state of the overwhelming external world.

(As people become more and more concerned with the psychological ramification of (an) overwhelming digital world, we may finally be ready to explore /the real benefits of taking-a-vacation from the senses.) — Meehan Crist, Postcards from the edge of consciousness

I am a solitary being who can easily be pushed into ‘sensory overload.’ As such, Me-Time 4.0) aims to align my mind and body back into balance by reducing sensory stimuli. This is a series of self-experiments that use eccentric methods of REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy) to explore my conditions of hyperthyroidism (a hormone/stress-related disease), hypersensitivity, and meticulousness. Being isolated while experiencing contemplation and self-reflection, but remaining aware of the external world, is for me a form of mindfulness.

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Eric Lubrick
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Eric Lubrick is a photographer whose most recent work, a series of photographs about growing up as a twin, consists mostly of constructed still life images using objects and color to revisit his childhood memories. Eric Lubrick was born in Baytown, Texas and raised in Louisville, Kentucky where he grew up skateboarding and shooting photographs. Photography became a vehicle to further explore and engage in his surroundings. In 2001-2005 Eric attended Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, Ohio. He graduated with a BFA in Media Studies. Directly after, Eric went to graduate school at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and graduated with an MFA in Photography. From 2007 to 2009 Eric lived in Brooklyn, New York where he continued to make art, assist high-end photographers and shoot professionally as a photographer. A full-time commercial studio job brought him back to the Midwest.

 Eric has worked for such publications as Allure Magazine, The Huffington Post, Sotheby's, National Geographic and Indianapolis Monthly.  Eric is currently based in Indianapolis, Indiana where he is the Senior Photographer at the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields. In addition to working for the IMA, Eric continues to makes art and shoots freelance for local and international clients.

 Artist Statement

Being an identical twin is a real life magic trick surrounded by a sort of excitement, surprise and awkwardness. These autobiographic constructed still-lifes are two pieces from my newest series of photographs about life as a twin. Our entire lives we've been asked cliché questions like, "Do you know when your brother is sad?" or "If your brother gets hurt, can you feel it?" Perhaps the most common question we get asked is, "Have your parents or girlfriends ever confused you for the other?" The answer is yes. The astonishment of seeing two people that look identical walk into a room is not lost on me. I, too, find myself asking twins the same type of annoying questions. Often their answers surprise me.

 Before my brother and I could speak English we had our own language. The only word we remember is DeeTee, which meant candy. We had the same nightmare once. We no longer remember our twin language, but I’d like to think we communicate on another plane. By building these autobiographic compositions I am able to revisit parts of my life and this twin connection. Twin Boy was the name given to us by the kids in our first neighborhood. Because we looked so similar, most kids we played with couldn’t tell us apart. To simplify things, my brother and I both responded to Twin Boy. We are still often confused for each other. It’s as if we can be in 2 places at the same time. People who you’ve never met think they know you, and they kind of do. For better or worse, we can cash in on the efforts of each other.

These two pieces, Hey Twin Boy Birthday Cake and Dee Tee 1 are in a series of my most recent work. They are autobiographical constructed still life about growing up as a twin. By building these compositions I am able to revisit parts of my life. Being an identical twin is a real life magic trick surrounded by a sort of excitement, surprise, and awkwardness. Twin Boy was the name given to us by the kids in our first neighborhood and most people didn’t know our actual names. We have often been confused for each other. People who you’ve never met think they know you, and they kind of do.

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Carson Zullinger
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Carson Zullinger’s artwork derives from the exploration of the inner self and its contrast with the physical world. He uses dreams and the subconscious as a starting place to envision new imagery, striving to create pieces that incorporate a sense of spirit or mind-body interrelationship, and at the same time tell a story.

The subconscious is not rational. The Jungian dreamscape that Zullinger draws his inspiration from allows for the aesthetic space to shift dramatically from image to image. Yet there is a common theme of transcendence and spirituality that threads throughout the vision that he interprets.

In this new series Carson Zullinger explores the intersection of the dream and the awake state. It interprets the journey to where the two states are one.

Carson Zullinger has exhibited extensively for 40 years including the Delaware Art Museum, the Biggs Museum of American Art, and the Delaware Contemporary, and is represented in museum and private collections. In 2014 he was awarded a Masters Artist Fellowship from the State of Delaware.

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Marisa Veerman
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Marisa Veerman is a photographic and textile fine artist based in Brisbane, Australia. Having forged her career as a textile visual merchandiser in fabric boutiques, Marisa sculpted endless fashion and theatrical pieces on mannequins with pins and fabric alone.

She is an emerging face in the art world and is currently broadening her artistic career through photographic art works that are embellished with fine embroidery and beading and strokes of wax varnish.

Raw honesty rests deeply in Marisa’s work. Peaceful melancholy pairs with a beauty that transcends time and place.

Harnessing delicate femininity, her works explore childhood innocence, fragility and emotion. This vulnerability is juxtaposed against an abundant strength.

Marisa has also worked on several other photographic projects and events creating commissioned fine art portraiture.

Statement

The ‘Florence’ series is an exploration of stillness, calmness and quiet in a person.

Florence also exudes an air of gloriousness and resplendence.

Time is taken to observe and listen. 

To see and to notice. 

To sympathise and empathise.

From a place of quiet, it is easy to see the rich inner worlds of others

Brushes of time, flowers and thread are used to tell these stories.

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Ashley Catharine Smith
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BIO

Ashley Catharine Smith is a Philadelphia based artist working in photography, video, and fibers. Through the combination of these mediums, she creates melodramatic depictions of relationships and sexuality. Smith earned her MFA in Photography, Video & Related Media from the School of Visual Arts. Her work has been exhibited internationally and throughout the United States at the Society for Contemporary Craft (2016), Marin Museum of Contemporary Art (2017), Center for Sex and Culture in San Francisco (2017), Pittsburgh Center for the Arts (2016), the Knockdown Center (2017), and the Delaware Museum of Art (2018) among others. She is currently an adjunct photography professor at Drexel University and an instructor at the International Center of Photography.

STATEMENT

My current work lives at the intersection of photography and sculpture. In all of these works, I begin with a printed photograph and embroider into the print to embellish important parts of the image or add something new. An intervention on the surface of the print creates a new reality. The embroidery speaks to a shift in perception that can occur when viewing images of our past. The work is driven by my desire to unpack how societal expectations and gender roles affect our interpersonal relationships and sense of self. It also aims to construct moments of closeness with the subject of the photographs through their printed image.

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Ashleigh Raizes
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Raised as a painter, but awoke to video art. Enamored by 35mm. Intermixing analog + digital. Associate Creative Director by day. 

Statement

I rummage through the forgotten then found - be it public domain footage or eBay estate sales. I recombine analog bits into digitally unsettling explorations of identity and fear. My work is homage to the uncanny, exploring the familiar relics of old modes of recording histories by layering on a haunting rupture into our present. You've seen it before but never quite like this.

We Have Always Been Here

Found in an eBay estate sale, these 1970s 35mm negatives and the people inside them have been transformed and reimagined. Who was he, who was she, and what were they to each other? This is an attempt to reconstruct strangers who've long been gone, pointing to the ephemeral nature of identity, what our lost images become to future generations, and how our stories live on past our ability to control them. Found 1970s 35mm Negatives, Digital manipulation. Hawaii. 10 print. 2018.

www.ashleighraizes.com

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Holly D. Gray
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The role of caregiver, predominately assumed by women, is the inspiration and basis for my artistic practice. While creating my newest works, I was thinking about my role as a female caregiver and what that means to me personally, but also what that might look like for the mothers of medically fragile children that happen to be so similar to myself. With this identity, I was absorbed in the daily labor both physical and emotional for these women.

I tend to collect objects over a measured and set amount of time, and I enjoy giving myself specific time restrictions for my practice. With the specifics of time and volume, my photographs for the One Day Project refers to a 24-hour period of collection from thirteen different mothers and their disabled children, that are located across the United States. The ceramic installation, 52 weeks, is a nod to the weeks of a year and this piece was created by my personal weekly collections as a memorial to the year gone by. 

The subject matter of my work is the daily detritus or waste material that comes with the life of a medically fragile child. The female caregivers, mothers in most cases, fight for these supplies on numerous levels and use this material in hopes that it will be part of the puzzle to keep their child alive one more day. Without these mundane daily rituals, their children and mine would not survive. And with this subject, I’m left to think about the moment to moment that ends up being a tremendous weight in this type of caregiving. 

The materials that I use are rooted in the daily care for children with multiple disabilities. By using photography as a material to transform what would be considered in most cases trash, I’m able to document a moment in time that is fleeting for the families involved. With the use of ceramic sculpture for the installation 52 Weeks, the forms offer a fragility and softness that the source plastics cannot achieve.

There is an elegance in this type of caregiving that most don’t see. There’s a light in its brokenness. After all, this is a parent and child relationship. The images of Light in Nurture reference the collection of source material in a unique way. My intent with these images is to add beauty to the perceived brokenness. Society and politics often view disability as a tragedy or a drain on resources. A life lived atypically is often related to strain and stress, but there is a calmness, strength, grace, and resilience that come from this community of women. For myself, I’ve had the same routine for eleven years with my daughter, so the daily practice of this core group of women is fiercely important to my artwork. 

Best known for her contemporary photography and ceramic sculpture installations, Gray’s materials are chosen and rooted in the act of daily caregiving with a soft female aesthetic. Currently located in Dallas, Texas, Holly D. Gray will receive her MFA in May of 2019 from The University of Texas at Arlington.

hollydgray.com



Interview with Megan Magill: Venus with Folds 
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Megan Magill is an artist based in Chicago and Maine. She received her Masters from Northwestern University and her MFA from Maine Media College. Her work has been exhibited in group and joint shows nationally and she was recently a semi-finalist in the Print Center's International Competition. My Business is Circumference was featured at the Detroit Center for Contemporary Photography and The Habit of Winning was featured in F-Stop Magazine’s portfolio issue with an interview by William Cox and in a print publication with LDOC . In the fall of 2017 her was published in American: Authors, Interpreters, and Composers a book series created by Patricio Binaghi of Paripe Books and designed by Matt Wiley of the New York Times Magazine. 

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Statement: Venus with Folds 

I begin each piece with a xerox copy of a woman's painted portrait. Most of the paintings are well known, and others were found through a google search for 'famous portrait paintings' which I then narrowed down to paintings of women. So far all have been painted by men and folded by a woman but this is not a requirement...it's just what predominates when you search for 'famous.' I don't have a preconceived idea of how each piece will look...I just start folding and re-folding until I've made something that feels right to me. The process is in part a visual exercise is seeing something new in something that already exists. A way of keeping my options open and my optimism up. Photographing them after I've folded them extends the process. 

How did your artistic career begin?

I started making art in 2009 after taking a class on the history of photography at my local art center. I realized pretty quickly that art was a long lost friend that I had lost touch with years earlier for reasons of ‘practicality.’ Photography was my entry into art and remains an integral part of my practice as the majority of my work springs from found imagery.

In your artist statement, you mention that you begin most of your work with existing imagery, where do you tend to find this imagery? Do you have any criteria that you look for?

For about 2 years I collected imagery somewhat obsessively. I bought crumpled up old photos primarily at antique stores, huge lots of old Kodachrome slides through eBay and also a number of old college yearbooks from the ’40s and ’50s. I am still amazed at some of the images I was able to find. I am drawn to collect images that speak to our shared humanity from a somewhat demented point of view.

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What is the first thing you do when you start a new piece?

At the moment my entry into a piece is to draw over an existing image digitally. I start on my iPad and just see where it goes.

What is your favorite part of your creative process?

The excitement I get when something that I have created surprises me and makes me gasp just a little.

In a few statements describing your different bodies of work you reflect on the idea of not having control over every aspect of your work, how does this mindset affect the way you work?

I think this mindset helps me keep an open mind to where a piece might want to go. I spent a good portion of my life (before I started out as an artist) trying to control my life to the nth degree. What I realized is that not only did this suck the joy out of living but often I would end up in places that I no longer wanted to be and would wonder how in the hell I got there. Staying open to the process keeps me in the moment of making and lets a piece evolve like a collaboration. This doesn’t mean that every piece will work out but they do have a better chance of surprising me and taking me to places that my logical brain might not have mapped out ahead of time.

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What has been the most challenging part of your artistic career?

Hmmm. I went to a school that was primarily for photographers and filmmakers to get my MFA. It was a great education but I realized pretty quickly that I wasn’t really a photographer and so finding my place in the art world has maybe been more challenging because I’ve had to forge new relationships outside of the ones that I made in school in addition to teaching myself new processes. But this is also part of the fun…so challenge=fun.

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What should we be on the lookout for in 2019?

I am SUPER excited about some of the things I am working on. I have a series of sketches I am calling ‘you me and everyone we know.’ I have plans to turn these into hook rugs (I have one already started) and oil paintings. I hope to have the first hook rug completed this month.

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