I’ve enjoyed Jessica Craig-Martin’s photography for a while, I even wrote a post including it, HERE. But something about this moment in time makes me feel like this is the right time to blog about it. The moment feels very Haves vs Have Nots, and Jessica’s work, which to me is like a reverse Slim Aarons- instead of glamorizing the jet set, she uses saturated colors, bright lights and interesting angles to expose the anxiousness, the vulnerability, the nervous smiles, well, it just feels very appropriate. I could talk some more, but I’ll just post her artist’s statement right here, because its self explanitory:
I first started to take party pictures for a very wealthy New York businessman who wanted a record of his jovial and vulgar drunken office parties. From this work I was hired by Anna Wintour to cover the New York party scene for Vogue. I feel that a well examined detail can tell the whole story better than a pulled back, general shot of a scene. The angle of a shot can convey the particular combination of levity and anxiety one can feel in social situations. My art dealer once called it my “drunken lens.” The photographs that work best for me have a sense of human fragility. Unrealized dreams; our perverse optimism as we swim upstream like salmon in order to mate, find love, security, money, power, to retain youth against all odds and evidence. One is never so naked as when dressed for a party. Why do we leave the house, over and over again, only to feel the glamour we anticipate evaporate as we approach it? I came to fashion photography only through this personal work: It has never been an ambition or a particular interest of mine. It can be very enjoyable when one is offered the freedom to really go mad creatively in these contrived situations. I believe I am basically hired to bring that sense of louche spontaneity to a shoot that I find out in the real world. However, no image I create for fashion can ever be as satisfying as finding a real moment that encapsulates my ideas of what makes a good photograph. The found moments, not the manufactured ones, are the gold.
“Why do we leave the house, over and over again, only to feel the glamour we anticipate evaporate as we approach it?” This is my favorite sentence. I love that up close, they elegant women are just human beings with moles and wrinkles, they are like the real life counterparts to Cindy Sherman’s socialites. Bottom line, even the moneyed are fragile, as Sandy has taught us. Civilization is hanging on by a thread. Beauty, wealth and security are an illusion. Always. And something about a french pedicure in Jimmy Choo silver platforms with a leopard gown really shows that. It’s the toes. I’ve gone nuts.