Behind the Photo - Portrait Masters 2019
I want you TO SEE THIS
I want you to understand this
I had put a lot of work, effort, and LOVE into this image that I'm sharing right now. While it did not win first place at this years Portrait Master competition, this is without a doubt the most significant piece of art that I have created to date. And it's not just because of what you SEE but what most of you are unable to see.
Everything that you see and do not see in this image has been done with whole PURPOSE and INTENT. I want to open all of your eyes to what I created, the story behind it, and why I am trying to push boudoir to become something more than just T&A.
I was inspired by Sarah Simmons winning newborn photo from the last contest round. She told a significant personal, happy and sad story all wrapped up in this one photo. It was very moving, and I wanted to elevate my work to that level.
I believe that boudoir is more than just sexy photos. Boudoir can be the most personal and most intimate form of photography. You capture people when they are at their most vulnerable and their most powerful. So this piece of art that I created is about someone who is at their most vulnerable.
Someone very close to me who I love very deeply suffers from Bi-Polar disorder. For those unfamiliar with exactly what that is, Google will define it as "A disorder associated with episodes of mood swings ranging from depressive lows to manic highs." While this is accurate, it doesn't describe just how much havoc it can have on someone's life who suffers from Bi-Polar. And this photo that I'm sharing illustrates what this person is going through in so many different ways.
I understand that at first glance this might seem like a kinda cool looking photo that would get a like on Instagram and that's the end of it, but this is so much more when you can look at it and SEE what I see.
So let me break it down for you so that you can SEE what is beneath the surface. I also created this piece to look like a Rorschach test so that each person looking at it can see what they want to see from it.
1) The Pink and Yellow side represent the manic side, and Blue and Red represent the depressive side.
2) The four colors illustrate the different extreme moods the person goes through.
- Blue: Cold, Distant, & Depressed
- Red/Orange: Anger & Anguish
- Yellow/Gold: Manic Energy and Excessive Spending
- Pink: Hypersexuality
3) The hands of pink & yellow and blue & red are touching because those moods are interchangeable and can switch on the fly.
4) I made the colors very vibrant and easy for you the viewer to see because these moods are so extreme that it is very easy for outsiders to notice.
5) While outsiders can clearly see these moods, the subject's eyes are not visible because they don't always realize or SEE that they are in these intense moods.
6) Where the hands and the thighs touch create arrows pointing away from each other. This is to symbolize how all of these moods push the subject away from their true self.
7) The negative space in the subject's silhouette is to illustrate the feeling of being hollow and empty inside. A shell of their self.
And the last point in this photo is one that I hate so much and always brings me to tears when looking and thinking about it.
8) In the negative space of the center of this piece is an hourglass. And this represents unknown time. The unknown time of how long this disorder will last, as well as the unknown time of how long the person will last living like this.
I hope that I can help those suffering from Bi-Polar I & II with this art piece that I created and that it can offer them some comfort or insight into everything they are going through. And at the very least, I hope to show that I SEE you. I see what you are going through both on the painfully obvious outside and the hard to see inside.
Now I hope others can SEE as well.