"Illusion" (at chashama 461)

by Julia Forrest

August 6 - 24, 2013

chashama 461 Gallery
461 West 126th Street
New York, NY
(between Amsterdam and Morningside)

Gallery Hours:  Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 11 am  - 5 pm, Wednesday and Friday by appointment only

Artist Reception: Saturday August 10th, 6-9pm

Artist's Statement:

A woman presents herself within the landscape. She turns a mirror towards the viewer, breaking up the solid environment. She interacts with the landscape; she wanders in, blending into the background, changing with scale, or holding a part of the landscape itself. The whole image becomes a pictorial illusion and as the photographer, I am in complete control of the composition.

In reference to Greek mythological stories of goddesses, these women look gentle and fragile, yet posses a strong power. Without seeing their faces, their identities become unimportant; the focus is on their performance. The variety of mirrors I use help the women blend into their surroundings; the mirror serves as an illusion to show off their power by changing the landscape at will.

Using a medium format film camera and no digital manipulation, I create an illusion within the lens. I am inspired by Pictoralist photographers and how they create a purely photographic reality in their images. Early 20th century photographer Anne Brigman seamlessly meets the human figure with a surreal landscape. Her figures have the same powerful presence that I strive to create in my photographs. Shooting in black and white, I make a historical reference to this period. I use Infrared film to emphasize the grain and to create a more surreal and distant reality. I challenge the notion of the landscape by referencing what makes a photograph: the women use their mirror to re-frame what I have framed and capture in their mirror like a camera captures in the lens.

About the Artist:

My name is Julia Forrest and I am a Brooklyn based artist. I graduated from Hartford Art School with a BFA in photography. Surrounded by the constant creativity in NY and only a subway ride away from any museum or gallery, I constantly involve myself in the art world. I work mostly in film and print all images myself in a darkroom I built in my apartment. My art has always been my top priority in life. In this digital world, I will continue to work with old processing. Anything can simply be done in Photoshop but I prefer to use the camera, a tool that shows reality, in order to experiment with what I can do in front of the lens. I create surreal environments, tricking the camera into what it sees.


Tags: photography, Harlem
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