I knew while creating my portfolio for art school, I wanted to showcase one photograph that would specifically highlight texture. I am a sucker for bold colors, so the first idea that popped into my head was to utilize paint. My original plan was to have somebody standing in the middle of a blank canvas, take multiple buckets filled with paint and completely drench my subject. The shot would be a still of the paint in motion featuring the person’s reaction. However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that there wasn’t a clear message behind my photograph. For a few nights, I twisted and turned, thinking of how I could still take this idea of paint and execute art with meaning. Then it hit me: paint suicide.
I had an array of different people express their opinions on my photos, each with an unique interpretation. To be honest, I don’t have a solid explanation behind my work, and would rather let others take their own message from it. i Though f I had to analyze my own work, I would have to say that this is my take on how society views suicide. The topic of suicide is taboo: nobody talks about it and most do their best to avoid conversations that lead to something so dark. I wanted to juxtapose the darkness of the subject with vibrant and lively hues. The act of suicide is also very “loud,” as it makes an undeniable statement. I felt the bright colors would give my photos that “pop” that portrays just how powerful taking your own life is. Suicide is a sensitive topic, but is not nearly as highlighted as it should be. Depression, bullying and other emotional traumas or illnesses can lead to suicide, and yet society tends to stay quiet about it –– while we should really be extending a helping hand to those in need, rather than ostracizing the people that feel this is their only option.
Halfway into my photo shoot, I felt like I was trying way too hard to be “deep.” I was obsessed with making sure every shot had some underlying meaning that only true artists with berets, fancy neckties, and a curly mustache could understand. At a certain point, I realized that while creating, you really cannot limit yourself. It can be extremely difficult to execute an idea that is so vivid in your mind, because when creating the physical product, you never know what you will end up with. Art knows no boundaries! The less you think, the more you do. This is what I ended up with once I let myself go:
Looking back at my photos, I still don’t really know if there really substance in any of it. But it does mix playfulness and comedy — as well as pain — all into one. The true meaning? Well, I guess that’s up to your own interpretation!
Until next time y’all!