The Seven Words of Christ by Frederick Holland Day are very similar in subject matter and personal intent. He was influenced by his religious beliefs to personally recreate scenes of the life of Christ. His personal commitment to his self-portraiture reenactment of Christ is still seen as an unsettling mix of fact and fiction. Day and I both defend our use of photography for sacred scenes as a matter of artistic freedom.
The self-portraiture of Catherine Opie is inspiring because of her deep personal connection as she used her complex photographic works to explore her sexual and cultural identity. Her work most closely mirrors my self-portraiture in its expressive and statement based intents.
After viewing Bill Viola’s project, Martyrs, installed in St. Paul’s Cathedral, I was inspired for the presentation of my work in churches instead of just galleries. His large multimedia presentations are installed into religious places as a way of visualizing the spiritual and physical connections. My goal for placing my work in churches is to enhance how believers will worship.
There are strong similarities to my Thesis found in the work self-portraits of Anwar Haidar. In his Thesis Project he contemplated and searched for spiritual connection of life after death. There is a feeling of unrest and tension in most of his images while implementing a conceptual and aesthetic hold on the viewer that causes reflection and mediation. I used a similar out-of-body type presentation to visualize how my spirit may appear when my soul is resurrected unto eternal life. In my Thesis, I have sought to emulate a similar concept and aesthetic that grabs the viewer and makes them stop and contemplate their own life after death.
Julie Blackmon and I share a personal connection in our works. In her project Domestic Vacations she uses her own friends and family to create crazy day experiences drawn from personal experiences. Having four young children and having been a foster parent of over a dozen young children, I relate to her stressful and humorous scenes. Her connection of her family and her work inspired me to begin using my children as models in my work. While the constructed artistic involvement’s technical and aesthetics have similarities, it is the personal connection to Blackmon’s family that draws me to her work. I was able to use my wife, brothers, and children in front or behind the camera that allowed a memorable bonding with my family in my self-portraiture.
Lastly I did imitate the gesture, narrative, and aesthetic of Mark Holthusen’s work. Since my project is Fine Art, I explored my aesthetic expression using light rays and recognizable posing. I learned to emulate his composite, perceptual, and aesthetic qualities in my project. The use of composition and compositing technique create a variety of interesting narratives in my images to demand attention and have a deeper meaning that just the literal subjects.
Being the oldest of five boys motivated me to be a leader and example for my younger siblings. Through Bible reading and memorization, my spiritual walk with God grew and continues to guide my life’s decisions. Why should my Thesis Project be any different? Based on God’s Word, I am completely confident that when my physical body’s brief journey on earth is over, I will continue to live with God forever in a place called heaven. I passionately share this undeniable peace and assurance with others through my artwork. I look forward to seeing how the Lord will make a difference for eternity by using my work to encourage believers and share truths with unbelievers.
Blackmon, Julie. “Domestic Vacations.” Web. July 5, 2014. <http://www.julieblackmon.com/Portfolio.cfm?nK=312>
Haidar, Anwar. “Beyond Death: A Body-Soul Dialogue.” Web. July 6, 2014.
Holland, Day F. “The Seven Words” The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Web. November 17, 2015. < http://www.metmuseum.org/collection/the-collection-online/search/269295?=&imgno=0&tabname=label>
Holthusen, Mark. Web. July 3, 2014. <http://markholthusen.com/#light>
Opie, Catherine. Self-Portrait/Cutting. Web. November 18, 2015. <http://www.guggenheim.org/new-york/collections/collection-online/artwork/30354>
Viola, Bill. “Video Interview: Bill Viola’s Martyrs.” Web. November 21, 2015.