Thesis Work: But In The End, Love Will Return
On March 4, 2020, my father, who I had been helping care for, passed away. Just over a week later, the world shut down because of the global COVID-19 pandemic. I wouldn’t leave my childhood home again until I moved to Philadelphia to start an MFA program for Socially Engaged Art.
A friend recently told me: “Once you’ve truly seen and felt death, you can’t not be open to seeing it everywhere.” This is true of not only what we see but how we relate to the things and people around us. It affects how I experience different complex human interactions: intimacy, touch, love, etc. My grief will never leave me. It will only evolve over time. My hope is that this work that I am continuing to make will be a documentation of that evolution as well as a narrative in which others can share.
This work, which is an ongoing project from my thesis work, examines photographic self-portraiture as a form of social practice. Can an artist tell a more communal story by explicitly sharing their own experience? For much of my artistic career, most of my work has been creating self-portrait series. The themes of these works have varied but have all connected to my own personal experiences. While these images are meant to reflect my own life, there is always an element of make believe. Fact and fiction are not a binary, but rather a spectrum and I enjoy blurring the line between the two when photographing myself.