When thinking about who my creative and intellectual family are some pretty clear names come to mind. But most of the artists I am thinking of relate to my work that involves and explores the body, which is a body of work (no pun intended) in which I am taking a step back from for now. With this in mind, my search for some more contemporary feminist muses is in the works and I am continuously trying to find new artists and writers to be inspired by, but for now, the list, in no particular order, stands as follows:
These images are what began my obsession with the abstraction of the female form. I am in awe of the simplistic beauty of the black and white images Kertesz took in the 1920s. There are over 200 photographs within his series exploring the form. The images have a very surrealist quality which inspired me to create a body of work in 2013 and 2014 attempting to achieve similar aesthetics. (see below)
I’m interested specifically in her decision to pose the body in an uncomfortable/straining position, and the interesting relationship created between the body and its environment.
“The process of taking the pictures is punishing. It leaves me bruised and aching. Every picture is taken on self-timer, which makes for a repetitious, highly physical process of running between the camera and the pose, making adjustments as I go. It feels like I’m hammering my body into the landscape of the room, one picture at a time.” -Polly Penrose
Connie Imboden has been creating photographic work exploring the body since the 1980s. I am drawn to the way in which she continues to develop her abstraction of the body. She works with both the male and female form, sometimes combining both within an image. Her most recent work has a more painterly style, but I find her earlier work particularly inspiring and beautiful.
Another photographer exploring the abstraction of the form. I love these images not only for their aesthetic beauty as photographs, but I also really love the way in which they were chosen to be displayed as well as the size of the final works. I think this work speaks specifically to images I created exploring the form through mirrored mylar. (shown below)
Other (more well known) artists I am inspired by include, Judy Chicago, Janine Antoni, Kiki Smith, and Miriam Shapiro. Writers include Gail Collins, Linda Nochlin, Caitlin Flanagan.
Some literary and photo books include, Reframings: New American Feminist Photographies: Edited by Diane Neumaier, To Hell with All That: Loving and Loathing Your Inner Housewife by Caitlin Flanagan, When Everything Changed by Gail Collins, Role Models: Feminine Identity in Contemporary American Photography by, Girl Culture by Lauren Greenfield.
The list of artists and writers that inspire me is never ending and always evolving; a “to be continued” sort of concept. Below is a video I found particular interest and inspiration in over the past year. I am looking forward to continuing to build both my intellectual and artistic family as I expand my artistic practice this year, and throughout my future as an artist.