My Body Collective – A Self-Portrait Journey
I am a New York-born photographer living in France. I specialize in self-portraiture as a means to create a visual journal and a journey toward self-acceptance and healing – either dealing with or escaping from trauma and abuse I endured in my life which was based and focused on my weight and appearance. In addition to my self-portraiture, I am an artists’ model, posing for artists and art students simultaneously while creating my art.
After more than 25 years as a self-portrait photographer, I am creating a book to finally share my “full story” of why and how I became interested in self-portraiture. I put full story in quotes because the text, while candid and frank, does not contain every single memory of my life but I recount the highlights of abuse and traumatic moments in my life which have led to the need to express myself artistically in order to deal with or escape from those times. Not being my fine art work, the images in this book are straight, raw ones, mostly nude of course, of what I consider the rejects or the extras that I took for certain projects or just for the need to photograph myself.
This is not a monograph but an accompaniment to my fine art work. I am creating it first, to help me gain some closure on these aspects of my life and to help me move forward. Secondly, to reach other women (and men) who may have endured similar experiences with the idea that it could inspire and help them deal with the abuse and trauma in a meaningful way – their form of self-expression.
As I begin to work with an esteemed printer here in Paris, France, the book will be roughly 75 pages – which will include accounts of my story both in English and French followed by raw images of me that I shot over 25 years from unused negatives and digital files. Here is where you see the effects of the abuse by my changing body as I gain weight, gain more weight, lose a considerable amount of weight and regain a bit now due to physical problems and age.
At the end of my editing process, I was able to have a few esteemed photographers whom I have the immense pleasure of knowing over the course of my photographic career to write their impressions of me as the foreword. I am truly touched and honored to have those gifts from them. They are part of my small circle of strength and of whom have been there from the beginning of my photographic career.