Featured Artist: Tess Yaney

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Name: Tess Yaney
Age: 22
Hometown: West Orange,NJ
Current town: Atlanta, GA
Job description: Photographer
Bio:  Tess Yaney is a photographer based out of Atlanta and New York.  Being exposed to photography at such an early age, she learned to have that artistic eye necessary for making images due to her family’s emphasis on the importance of learning about art.  However, it was not until college when she began thinking of this particular field as her own. Previously having studied fashion design, and then years of art history at Montclair State University in her home-state of New Jersey, Tess began to pursue her newfound interest. Embarking on a new adventure away from home at Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta, she will be graduating this upcoming June.  Her goal is to continue to learn more about her field, the world, as well as herself through dedicating her time there, has successfully developed and realized her passions in photography.  Incorporating all her previous knowledge and side skills such as art history, sewing, theater, and more, into her photography created an out of the ordinary point of view.

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Upcoming projects:

For fine art:possibly a series on sexual empowerment for women; for fashion: a series of new editorials focusing on either edgy or super fun/creative lighting looks.
Select links:

 http://www.tlyphotography.com ; http://www.facebook.com/tlyphotography

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What are you working on/ describe your work:

I’m both a commercial and fine artist with my photography; yet, even my commercial work has a fine art approach, since I like to push limits or be inspired by other artists who do the same, and are extremely successful.  I would say almost all my work involves people, whether portraiture, or the absence of them in order to make a point.  I normally shoot fashion and portraiture.

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What’s your art background / when did you begin really focusing on art?

I’ve been an artist since I was a child: drawing, taking film pictures with my family, visiting museums, designing and sewing clothes since I was a teenager.  However, it didn’t hit me that I wanted to be a serious photographer until about two years ago.  I just loved doing all the steps involved.

What’s been happening in your life/ what’s next for you?

I’m graduating from Savannah College of Art & Design with my BFA in photography in ten weeks!  It’s a huge step for me, but I’m excited to apply my knowledge to the outside world.

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Describe your current state of mind / what’s inspiring you?

A lot of my fine art work has been inspired by recent political situations with women and how the media represents these situations.  Many people will argue that there’s no sexism, but there’s more than just that, there’s sometimes total mistreatment in situations where people should be empathetic or sympathetic too, rather than blame victims.

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Any exhibits coming up/ past exhibits you’d like to mention?

I was in SCAD Atlanta’s Open Studio event, where I still have two pieces hanging up.  I also was in a group show in November called Contradistinction, which featured one of my feminist pieces.  Before I graduate, I’m sure I will have another group show with other graduating students, however, no details on that yet.

Is any of your work political?

Again, my fine art work recently has taken this turn dealing with women’s issues.

What is one of the biggest challenges you face as an artist?

Confidence, putting yourself out there, and then also being critical enough without making you have a writer’s block, per-say.

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Has the meaning of your work changed over time?

I think my work has increased in depth over time.  At first, I didn’t really know to look so deep with photography, but it’s possible.  It’s all about just continuing shooting and shooting even if you think something is the way you want it.

Are you involved with any organizations/ do you collaborate with other artists?

No, but I would like to, I’m going to be doing more research on that as well.  I really want to do more group shows, possibly with other young feminist artists.

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What are you listening to these days?

A lot of soundtracks!  However, really a lot of Soap&Skin, Lana del Rey, and more.

What are a few of your favorite spots in Atlanta?  
I really enjoy exploring Atlanta and Decatur, I also really love traveling down two hours to Cusseta, which is so unlike any environment I ever had up north.  I never loved taking landscapes until I moved down here, and I can understand why so many photographers explored the beauty in the south mixed with it’s almost eerie auras like Laughlin had.  Actually, my old apartment complex down the road really looked like a little English countryside group of homes, and I used to walk around the property all the time and read.
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What is your ideal job?
Doing promotional portraiture for television and movies. On the side, working with galleries to show fine art work, and possibly teaching.
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Favorite artists and people in your field whom you most admire:
Currently, I love Frank Ockenfels’ work, Nino Possy and a few others.  Mostly promotional photographers/videographers that have done really iconic images for their specific TV assignments such as Breaking Bad, Mad Men and Vampire Diaries.
What are you reading?
A group of nonfiction books from my library all about ukiyo-e and sexual art.  It’s more research than plain old cover to cover reading.
Favorite authors, fiction: Mary Shelley, George R.R. Martin
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