Years ago I visited the Rodin Museum in Philadelphia, a sister museum to Paris’s version. But it wasn’t Rodin’s art that I was truly inspired by, it was the model and the poses and positions they put themselves in to allow Rodin to create. I left that museum thinking more about the model/s than I did about the art.
Rodin’s main model was Camille Claudel. Claudel was an incredible sculptor in her own right and it was when she apprenticed for Rodin that he began to predominantly use her as a model. There’s a lot more to that story and I encourage you (if interested) to spend some time reading about it. I’m not an expert on either of them, but you don’t have to be one to realize how much Claudel inspired Rodin’s work. As a photographer who works mainly with models, usually one per series, I fully understand the importance of collaboration. Without the model, I don’t have a photograph. And while I am in charge of directing and working the camera, they are still a massive part of each session. I’ve had the opportunity to work with many outstanding people, mainly regular people lending their body to model, that have contributed greatly to a photograph and subsequent series. Whether it’s a suggestion on their part, the way they moved or stood, or placed themselves over a rock, many of them played a large role. It’s hard not to imagine Claudel contributed greatly to Rodin’s work and after seeing so many unique and odd poses in Rodin’s pieces, I was inspired to create a small series around those poses.
Content Warning! This new photographic series delves into the topics of depression and suicide, in photo form. There is no sensational or upsetting photo, only the reference of an upsetting topic.
We all have different ways of handling our anxieties. This series explores how unique we are, showing that everyone takes the metaphoric “leap” differently. The body remains anonymous while the silk fabric represents the subtle changes and shifts in each of us. We are all vastly similar but retain subtle differences that set us apart, just like the photos in this series.
This series was challenging for me and doesn’t look like anything I’ve created before. I put myself in situations I wasn’t used to and the seemingly simple concept I had was challenging to create. Like many things in life, a lot of factors contributed to the series and I needed many of them to line up. I almost gave up multiple times and to this moment, I’m unsure of what I created. All I know is that I can’t grow as a photographer unless I confront new ideas and test new theories. This series is that.
And finally, this topic is real, and often upsetting. If you are experiencing these thoughts and seek help, please text HOME to 741741 from anywhere in the United States, anytime.
“In a world where irony reigns, where you have to separate, protect and laugh at anything that is honest or has an emotional charge, I bet for catharsis. I like to invest emotionally in things. And catharsis, when it touches the emotional vein, can open the doors of even those who protect themselves.
— Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
A series of 13 photographs made using a Rollei 2.8 with expired infrared film.
In essence, I believe this to be a universal truth:
Our innate human desire to organize reality into dichotomies is a toxic underrepresentation of the fullness of our divinity, our deep connection to the cosmos. Our habitual separation and isolation of ideas is devastating to ourselves, our relationships, and all of humankind. It is only when we step beyond limitations and into the fullness of non-duality, moving beyond the ideas of ‘good’ and ‘evil’ and embracing the light and dark as equally necessary and divinely balanced forces, that we begin to taste the sweetness of equanimity. It is only then that we can un-tether ourselves from our limited notions and two-dimensional living, and unfurl into Being.
— written by the model in the entire series who has chosen to remain anonymous
A series of 11 photographs made using a Holga with Ilford 3200 film or Rollei 2.8 with Expired Kodak TMAX 100 film.