Karen Divine: An iPhone Photo Essay
I am self-taught, self-driven and have been seeking mentors to study with for the past forty years. Since my first photography class in Boston in 1972, I have studied with the Santa Fe Workshops, Christopher James, Bonnie Lhotka, Atlanta College of Art, Penland in NC, Anderson Ranch just to name a few. I love learning and challenging myself. There were always images in my head that I wanted to create and it wasn’t until I discovered Photoshop that I was able to execute these ideas.
I view the world in layers, stacking colors, textures, forms and stories onto each other as if one were walking through their day with blurred vision, not taking in specifics but piecing together various parts and overlapping them. Images that tell a story are important to me, images that are suggestive, a reflection of one’s inner turmoil and dreams, a personal documentary, images where the boundaries are somewhat obscure. I want to look at an image and be forced to look again and again. A sense of structure and design is important of course but behind my shapes and colors, there is usually another order of meaning, however abstract that may appear. A teacher once said that my images were like an Italo Calvino story or like Jeanette Winterson’s work and after reading them, I can only hope that my version of storytelling comes even close to that.
Prior to the iphone, I had been compositing images in Photoshop for thirteen years, so compositing on the iphone was an easy transition, albeit a bit more tedious than Photoshop, requiring more steps to adjust layers and opacity, in addition to the fact that after the second layer is placed, it’s flattened…not much forgiveness, rather like painting with watercolors. However, it can create textures in fresh new ways. The iphone required me to learn to make precise decisions and to think about forms and placements in a whole new way.
Images that tell a story are important to me, images that are suggestive, a reflection of one’s inner turmoil and dreams, a personal documentary, images where the boundaries are somewhat obscure.
The following body of work asked the question “Do women shoot the nude with a different vein of intention than the male?” Being the genesis of the greatest art, I wonder if the viewer of the image perceives the nude differently depending on the gender of its maker! Are we shooting the female form for it’s lines and shapes that make any composition visually appealing or is the image a reflection of our own sensuous or objective being? In answering these questions, I discovered a woman, playful, sinuous, provocative, a bit off in her antics and movements, confident, doubtful but always wanting to present herself in freedom.