Hometown: New York, New York
Current town: Verona, New Jersey
Job description: Artist, Photograper, Assistant to Deborah Kass, Cat Lover
Bio: Swooning over lush National Geographic landscapes for years inspired me at an early age, alerting my subconscious that I was to be a photographer. Upon my entrance into the BFA program for Photography at Montclair State University, my intent was to hone my skills and focus successfully on travel imagery, however this training ground sparked my conscious with new ideas, themes, and image making techniques, I was inundated with a zest to create. Now, women, water, and special processes are my main dig. It is my desire as a young artist to enhance and support feminist and bodily dialogue with images that interact with people and settings that may at times appear unnerving, but lovely.
What are you working on/ describe your work:
In one word my focus is: feminism, as a person and artist.
My senior thesis is a portrait series I created called The 21st Century Feminist, which features contrived yet serious images of women literally ‘taking back’ the rolls and ideas that are ingrained in society.
My current work, Memories Lost, is a series that combines full rolls of 120 film shot through a Diana F+ plastic camera, and later exposed onto platinum-palladium coated vellum. The goal is to make film-like progressions of haphazard, melancholic, dreamy settings that make one feel as if they are recalling a distant memory.
Memories Lost will be followed by a series called Le peuple de le mer, or the people of the sea. This features bodies submerged under water, taking the images from on top of water plane. Body functions and gender roles will be the creative focus. By taking away the concrete shape of a persons image and gender, and instead water-painting them in a more ethereal quality, it is my hope for the viewer to see the form, and not the gender or shape.
What’s your art background / when did you begin really focusing on art?
Combine a 6th grade art show, a spiritual experience at the Grand Canyon, and my first on site photo class in the field at National Parks, and there you have the special combo that encouraged my eye for imagery.
What’s been happening in your life/ what’s next for you?
My feminist BFA senior thesis was a year long battle of love and hate, it’s completion brought much celebration, along with health trials. My craving to eat McDonald’s every day, and spending way too much time in bed watching Downton Abbey ended quickly, as I am now graduated, and continue my marriage to my work and career.
Too bad post grad life doesn’t bring on as much cash as it does cheer, but it did bring focus. In almost a comic 360 turn of events I am now all about vegan cooking, kundalini yoga, and getting back into my faith at church!
I’d like to tell you about my super graceful fall off a ladder in the studio, but that might mess up my chi.
Describe your current state of mind / what’s inspiring you?
Working on Memories Lost has been such a gift, it has pushed me to shoot multiple rolls every day. With my camera attached like an appendage my settings vary from the subway, to an art gallery, to the woods. Even a simple trek from my house to a leafy setting has been turned into a still series. This project has enabled me to look at every space life brings me and turn it into a continuation, a memory. I started off creating memories I couldn’t remember, and now I am creating a visual diary to leave to my future self.
Any exhibits coming up/ past exhibits you’d like to mention?
I am so excited to announce the following upcoming exhibitions:
-It’s an honor to be a featured artist in this years RAW Natural Born Artist Show: Marvel, which will take place at the Public Assembly in Brookyln, NY at the end of August. Get a ticket, and come out for a great experience!
I am so excited to say that I will be a part of Ground Art’s upcoming HOME exhibition on March 7th!
Following that, I will be in the DWELL show on March 10th at Hamilton Street Gallery in Boundbrook, New Jersey.
Finally, I will be in the Double Exposure show at the Blue Door Gallery, New York, on March 22nd.
I have recently been a part of:
-Work from The 21st Century Feminist showed at Sylvia White Gallery in Ventura, CA. Be A Saint Show in February 2013.
-I gifted a few images to the Index Art Center, Newark, NJ, for their fundraiser/auction February 2013.
-February 2013: images from Memories Lost were in the 50/50 show at the Covington Artist’s Enterprise Center in Covington, KY.
Is any of your work political?
I’m not voice of a generation, rather I like to do my small part. Gender and sexual equality is top of mind for me, and I feel it is my duty not only as an artist, but as a woman, to advocate for equality across the board. I go back and forth between loud and subtle ways of showing this in my work.
What is one of the biggest challenges you face as an artist?
Funding and studio space seems to be the challenge for most budding artists, I am not unique in this. Finding shows and residencies is top of mind.
Has the meaning of your work changed over time?
Art can be therapeutic; as a young artist I needed to get the art therapy out of my system and then focus on artistic issues. My time-line was a gradual stumble to this realization. My earliest work dealt with the disintegration of my family and life as I knew it. I was cutting my chops at this time, and learning. Instead of looking at myself, I looked at the world around me and felt challenged by aesthetically pleasing work, that had no ‘meat‘ to it. This frustration was my segue into being more active in the current feminist movement. Again, I was frustrated with the world around me, but also how feminism was perceived. This became The 21st Century Feminist. The series, thankfully, has been successful, and my most memorable work to date. It began my marriage to my work; I learned how to roar.
While working on this, I conjured more ideas on bodies, and how they are treated, and how they treat us. I have thought abut how bodies are perceived, and how they are manipulated through photography. I am very dissatisfied with the straight portrait photography that dominates the photo world right now. Certainly, it should be celebrated, but I wish to see more. So, I have another developing series of body image, as seen through water. Water is healing, yet finite. It covers the earth, yet we do not cherish it. The same can be said for our bodies, despite the handicapped turmoil that we might endure. Through this, I learned how to whisper.
What are you listening to these days?
Flying Lotus, Fiona Apple, Thurston Moore, Albatros L79 and Delicate Steve, tons of Black Keys, and even more Michael Jackson. Along with phone messages from my mother who can’t stand texting.
What are a few of your favorite spots in your area?
I like to spend my Sunday mornings at Mitsuwa, a Japanese supermarket, in Edgewater, NJ. Mondays I like all you can eat sushi at Sushi X in Ridgewood. Tuesdays is Bottino in Chelsea when I am working at Paul Kasmin Gallery. You can find me at Aquarian Yoga Center in Montclair almost any night of the week. Wednesday is my Verona Park crawl time. Thursday it’s Gowanus, Brooklyn. Friday has me de-stressing at Tierney’s pub for a cider. Saturday, my bed is THE perfect spot for me.
Favorite artists and why/ people in your field whom you most admire:
Cindy Sherman will always be my portrait goddess and my first, and biggest influence. Old favorites include Marina Abramović, Robert Mapplethorpe and Sophie Calle.
I am completely involved with Michelangelo Caravaggio, Georges de La Tour and Artemisia Gentileschi. I’ve also come to really admire Robyn Cumming, Marilyn Minter, Wangechi Mutu, Deborah Kass, and Katy Grannan.
Rising stars I highly suggest are: Maritza de la Vega, Jillian Keats, Dustin Gramando, Maria Sturm, and anything you see on the New York Times Lens Blog.
What are you reading?
Subway signs for acne doctors and a 40 day journey through the entire New Testament. Also Bossypants, by Tina Fey.
Favorite authors, nonfiction:
I am only going to list one because I find it THAT important: I can not get enough of Just Kids by Patti Smith. Any art student that is struggling or looking for motivation, or is setting out into the world should read this book.