About two months ago, I started a series of surrealist photos using my body as a piece of sculpture. Lately I've been getting into the notion of incorporating more performance art in my work, but it's very difficult to do the style of photo I want to by myself without a remote or something along those lines. I had been playing around with this idea since last February, but lately I've been pushing the boundaries of both my comfort zone and my work.
At the risk of sounding totally pervy, I am very interested in nude portraiture from the 1910s, both the "French Postcard" sort and the more artistic sort by people like Steichen, and to echo that I use the "collodion"-style filters in Hipstamatic. I have one of those faces (and let's face it, a body) that's more suited to an old-fashioned style of photo reminiscent of those portraits.
The portraits I'm doing are very stylized nudes where I am mostly covered in either white paint or Desitin, shaving cream, talcum powder, or old makeup. I've been taking it a step further by twisting myself around to look like I'm distorted and more sculptural than a straight up naked chick. I look like I crawled out of some kind of toxic dump in some of them, and I think that's kind of fun.
I had an enlightening conversation the past week with the extraordinarily talented (and handsome) UK photographer Joseph Tovey Frost. He was very forthcoming and encouraging and gave me some helpful suggestions, which led to my latest series. I thank him for the inspiration, and hope we can work together in the future.
Shooting myself nude has actually been a goofy experience. I'm no stranger to posing nude for art projects and (to many people's surprise) have never been shy about nudity, but there's something seedy about explaining to people that I often spend my evenings at home covering my naked body in random cosmetics and taking pictures of myself. It's become a bit of a joke.
At this stage, I'm not really sure what any of the portraits mean. I don't generally believe in artist statements. I don't go in with an agenda, and I don't really have a story to tell with them yet. That's where the performance part still falls flat. But I hope to catch an idea and work out a series that has some kind of narrative. I like Greek Mythology and general European storytelling - everything from German fairy tales to Shakespeare - and maybe I'll play around with storytelling eventually when I have the style more worked out. My parents played a lot of English murder ballads when I was a kid, and I always thought it might be fun to do a photo shoot based on terrifying old classics like "Long Lankin." I also love the rather dark sexual themes of Carmina Burana, which might be fun to do a shoot about. I'll have to find a monk's cowl for that.
Until then, I'm just going to post these here with a NSFW warning for my fabulous tits.