I discovered the work of Kristin Skees last week on the Hey Hot Shot blog. The concept made me laugh, as I have always touted the idea of a Birka being the solution to weight gain, bad skin, a bad hair day, aging, and all the ills of being human, but now I see that there is another solution: The Cozy!
Kristin was born in Minot, North Dakota and was raised in Birmingham, Alabama. She received her BFA from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and her MFA degree in 2007 from the University of Arizona. Currently she is a faculty member at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia where she teaches Digital Photography and Video Art. She exhibits her work nationally and internationally.
Cozy Portraits: My work combines traditional women’s craft, contemporary DIY culture, and a love of the unexpected and absurd. The first cozy series (Husband Cozy) began when I found myself newly married and in graduate school. Like an ill-fitting handmade sweater, the cozies are about the claustrophobia of relationships. They represent the ways in which our closest relationships can often walk the fine line between loving and smothering.
My current Cozy Portrait series expands on the idea of the Husband Cozy. Here, I create a custom cozy for each person in the project – often my close friends and family, identified by the portrait title. Some of the portraits take a week to complete, and some take a year. From beginning to end, the piece is defined by my relationship, dialog, and collaboration with the person being cozied..
The process and the resulting portraits are very specific to each person. But by covering the majority of a person’s identifiable features, they also become abstract and universal. While the final form is a digital photographic print, for me, the piece begins with the first conversation, and the first question: “Can I cozy you?”