The Nostalgia of the Infinite
Inspired by both fashion and fine art, The Nostalgia of the Infinite is a concept-driven series of photographs that tells an emotional life history. It is divided into three sections, Asleep, Delusional and Untrammeled. In the first, the images are intended to create a feeling of emotional disturbance and lack of inner peace; in the second, of an increased openness but a discomforting strangeness; and in the third, of contentment and an infinity of human possibilities.
Though this project is based partly on my own dreams, its visual touchstones include Surrealist art of the early 20th century, particularly paintings such as Giorgio de Chirico’s Melancholia and Kay Sage’s The Fourteen Daggers, as well as the fashion work of photographers Tim Walker and Noell Oszvald. These artists’ images rely on dramatic light and shadow, exaggerated perspective, and strong symbolism to create a powerfully dreamlike quality. To achieve a similar look in my project’s images, I worked entirely in the studio, hand-painting the props and surfaces that appear in the photographs. In combination with strong lighting and post-production enhancement, the effect of this is to mimic the flat, planar look I often associate with Surrealist painting. Even the composition of these images is a sort of homage to the eery, psychologically-charged spaces of a painter such as de Chirico.
The photographs in my project have an art-historical reference point, I believe they incorporate a fashion sensibility that gives them a more modern feeling. In addition to the emotional and psychological narrative they create, I also hope that they challenge the norms and dogma that characterize photography’s representation of female beauty.