I visited my father in Long Island this weekend and stayed over for the night. I hadn’t been in my room in a while and when I entered I was shocked to see this photo of myself on the wall. This was photographed when I was seventeen and I framed it because the colors of it complimented the teal walls of my room. I didn’t notice at the time that I was playing with negative and positive space.
Studying Les Demoiselle d’Avignon by Pablo Picasso, made me realize just how much the background of the photo was interacting with the subject in the foreground. The pink and red petals are playing with each other while also melting onto my face with the liquid. I am laying in a pool of water with the petals being blown by a fan and swirling around the water canvas. I didn’t make the connection until now. While Les Demoiselles d’Avignon is painted, this is photography. The subject material of Picasso’s work are some prostitute women in the nude. I created a more personal piece of myself and I am the only subject, multiplied and flipped upside down to further reiterate the idea of positive space becoming negative.
Interestingly, for this photo I came up with the idea after thinking about Aphrodite. I named this piece Aphrodite, and I wanted the red and the pink petals to symbolize love. I wanted the love of the petals to interact with me but I purposefully remained stoic so that I would not be affected by the love surrounding me. This is on film also and it just shows the petals swarming around my head but I am still, indicating that the force of love does not control me, but I can control love. The first time I learnt about Aphrodite was in my Classics class with Professor Yarrow. We learnt about the Homeric Hymn of Aphrodite, and how the the instruments and lyrics represented Aphrodite’s stories of love.
-Mckensi Pascall- Team Aphrodite