I recently reviewed portfolios of photographic educators at the SPE National Conference in San Francisco. This week I am featuring some of the terrific work I got a chance to see….
Natalie Krick has captured some terrific portraits. On the verge of completing her MFA from Columbia College Chicago in May of 2012, she continues to explore the idea of portraiture with her new series, Natural Deceptions. Natalie was born in Portland Oregon and grew up in Fort Collins, Colorado. She earned a BFA in Photography from School of Visual Arts in 2008 and have been exhibiting in national and international exhibition, and has recieved numerous awards for her work.
I asked Natalie about the experience of photographing her mother and this was her reply:
“The photographs of my mom are often my favorites. She lives in Colorado, so I have been flying back a few times a year to photograph her and spend time with her and the rest of my family. We have also made a few of the photographs in Chicago when she comes to visit me. She participates because she knows it is important to me, but I wouldn’t say that it is any where close to her favorite thing to do. She does not like to wear a lot of make up (and I usually have her wearing heavy make up for the photographs). I am rather slow when I photograph but we spend most of the time laughing until she gets fed up with how long I’m taking. I think what is considered beautiful and flattering needs to be examined. My mom understands my point of view but since she is the one in front of the camera the experience is different for her. The photographs harshly reveal the fact that she is aging and I know that this is difficult for her. We have conversations about the emphasis our society puts on appearance and although we are able to critique and analyze culture, this desire to be desirable and attractive still remains.”
NATURAL DECEPTIONS: The colorful seductive nature of cosmetics act to mask, conceal and deceive while drawing attention to the surface and the superficial. By emphasizing both the façade of glamour and the physicality of the body I am interested in what can be revealed through these surfaces.
The women depicted in my photographs perform certain tropes used to visualize female beauty and sexuality. These photographs expose an awkwardness and tension in being looked at and scrutinized while also implying a longing to be seen as desirable and beautiful. By creating images that can be perceived as both garish and seductive, I question the fantasy of idealized beauty and what culture designates as flattering and desirable.