Statement

 

I am originally from New Jersey, but started studying darkroom photography in Hanover, NH and eventually became a Master of the Photography Guild at the Cambridge School of Weston, a private high school in Massachussetts.  I got my BFA in 2006 from Maine College of Art, studied art history University of Miami, and am currently a graduate student Barry University. I will recieve my MA in photography in December.

Beginning in 2002 I was working on a seven year documentary called the "Supposed Glamour Project."  This started out as a very idealized look at my and my friends lives within club culture, living out of cars and hotels.  Capturing the images digitally gave us the instant gratification we’ve become so accustomed to and allowed us to see everything as it happened from a removed point of view. Some of my girlfriends and I were already exotic dancers or servers in the club scene so the idea of performing for the camera was almost automatic.

Over time the images became darker as my life became darker.  In 2008 my partner of 4 years overdosed in front of me, almost dying, and

I dropped out of the lifestyle completely, discontinuing the project.

Shortly thereafter, I began creating constructed allegorical portraits through fairy tales, personal memory and trauma to examine the consequences of the choices I and my friends made.  I dressed myself and some friends up to be the different characters we had played in our lives. I objectified the women throughout the body of work since in popular visual culture she is always only represented as a fragment of the whole.  I was interested in how compartmentalized women are between our roles as domestic partners, sexual objects, relations, mothers, etc, and how lonely and isolated we can feel when these roles aren't integrated.  Women in the sex industry experience this to an extreme and it becomes very difficult to integrate mentally and physically back into a "normal" life. What is most frustrating however is the paradox between the negative treatment of these women by the very people who consume or participate in the commodities of the sex industry.

These images began to translate into a larger interest in women's tendency toward self-sabotage, performance of identity, and a fascination with how beauty has become so industrialized. For example, women in every circumstance put themselves through painful and expensive processes to exaggerate their sexuality and fertility to create a façade of societies' definition of beauty.

This interest has carried over into my most recent work, where I have removed the woman completely from the image, leaving her to be a presence just outside the frame.  I replaced her with the objects of industrialized beauty and performance that are easily recognized; such as stiletto heels, hair extensions, makeup, etc.  Also, I took her out of the domestic environment and found places on the fringes of suburbia instead.  Here, the objects replace the woman, acting as evidence of her presence and the tragedies that occur for all women, but especially those who find themselves outside the "norm."

 

With this series I slowed down and felt more meditative, working with a view camera to compliment that aspect of the image making. As much as these images are portraits, they are also urban landscapes that reflect how as a society we project ourselves, our short comings, and desire for perfection onto our equally untamable surroundings.

In 2013 I created my own independent study of feminist history, theory, literature and art, specifically focusing on photography and film. I responded to what I learned with a final project and paper exploring street harassment in urban areas by interviewing women and documenting my own experiences in urban areas. Using past artists' art and critical writing on this subject as inspiration, I combined recorded interviews, video and my own photographic stills taken on the streets and public transit systems of Miami, creating a short film that criticizes the ever growing, socially accepted and widely ignored, culture of men verbally and physically harassing women in public. This film explores and defines such problems as rape, rape culture, stalking and harassment as a means to illustrate why street harassment is both a dangerous trend in our society and psychologically harmful to women.

Lastly, as a part of my interest in urban landscapes and a way to connect with photography less as a critical and theoretical tool and more as an aesthetic visual practice, I also enjoy traveling to different cities and photographing the architecture, graffiti and neighborhoods that make each place unique.