"Here Lies Beauty. Here Beauty Lies."
© SpiderMeka Photography 2015.
With the revamp of my website (which seems to happen every six months or so... gotta keep it movin'!), I've decided to give the following photo composition its rightful place on my site, documented and honored as my first step into photo gallery display and art criticism. Criticism, here, meaning a very good thing.
I was asked to be a part of Chicago neighborhood art development in Feb/March of this year. The idea centered around asking various venues in the city to host and publicize local artists while brightening the walls of thier establishments. Parties and publicity galore!
I had an idea to begin with... something ironic in the way that it was 17 years my personal comfort zone, but to publically display it?! Not comfortable at all. I speak of retouching. Everyone who knows me knows that I can retouch my way out of Alcatraz. Those same people have never actually seen it happen. I go into my zone, insisting on privacy, and I emerge having done whatever magic was needed. Nobody asks questions... until some article or commercial brings up societal image disillusionment controversy.
I am wholeheartedly from the school of natural beauty. I personally wear little to no makeup, and my idea of working out is yoga once every other month. For this project, I did not want to focus on whether or not retouching has gotten out of hand. I chose to invite viewers to explore my method of retouching in various stages of subtlety... like a journey into self-image and making fuzzy the views of what is naturally beauty and what is naturally enhanced.
My thank yous go to Krista Margenau, the kind and willing and beautiful personality that sat in a cramped space at Harpo Studios, one of the only spaces where us minions were allowed, to pose and be photographed by me. To Kat Seno, who I met for the first time in a very cool coffee shop and is a very cool curator lady who does some very cool art herself, and whom I feel may one day become a very cool dear friend. To Noël Jones who is without a doubt "the great connector." And to all of my darling friends who came out for opening night to share some love and pizza with me.
My art and viewing concept for "Here Lies Beauty / Here Beauty Lies.":
© SpiderMeka Photography 2015.
Here lies beauty.
(Viewing as an "Z":) This display is a presentation of natural SOOC (straight out of camera) portraiture. Each progressive frame further illuminates what I find malleable as an artist... and justifies the potential I see in a stunning visage – the features that a face's owner often disregards. The images ask, "Can you believe how beautiful you are?"
Here beauty lies.
(Viewing as an "S":) We begin with a retouched print… strip away its enhancements… and see that raw beauty remains. "Here beauty lies" is not a comment about digital deception, but rather a breaking down of distorted views we often adopt when comparing ourselves to high-profile imagery. Peeling away self-depricating lies, will we not see how beautiful we are?