In this series of profiles I am doing I have set some ground rules. I have chosen to write about people that stand out as talented, eloquent and unique. People who have a directness and a clarity of purpose in their work but more importantly in their lives.
Case in point: meet Krista Casey.
Krista Casey lives in Boston and was a student of mine at Northeastern several years ago. I can't claim any particular credit for how she's turned out as she and I didn't work very closely together. But she did work closely with my colleague Andrea Raynor. Krista is remarkable in that she is very focused on revealing through her photography the significance of events and things that have happened to her over her lifetime. She also comes from a "different place" with her pictures. I'll let her explain:
I feel connected to the camera because my vision is similar to that of a lens. When I was six years old, I was diagnosed with an eye disease that left me dependent on my left eye. Everybody sees their world differently, but I always assumed they looked out at it in the same way. A way that I knew I would never be able to see. But you can’t turn away from who you are. Life is not perfect and it is how you embrace the imperfections that makes your life what it will be.
The way I see the world every day is similar to how another person would look at it through a camera. I realized this early in my life and knew intuitively that this unique vision could be my inspiration.
Imagine being able to know that when you are young? I wasn't capaple of anything like clarity of thought when I was young.
It wasn’t until recently, when I started on the body of work entitled “I”, that I understood how I could use my vision and experiences to create unique imagery. I had struggled with other material, trying to find a new approach to things that have been photographed over and over. Then I saw that I needed to turn the camera on myself and use this body of work as a way to express to everyone else how I have been seeing/experiencing the world since I was six years old.
I see as if my eye creates a telescope that allows me to study things carefully. I believe that vision is used not just to look around, but to actually see what is happening in the world.
Krista has made a fundamental discovery here, and there is a lesson in it for all of us. We are only where and what we come from and our individuality is what we have to offer as an artist or creative person. So many go down paths to look like someone else, to make their work mimic others for they don't believe they have enough on their own to be accepted. There is a vision of humanity's future that believes that we are all artists and that there won't be an elite class, that art will flow out of all of us, recognizing a universal creativity and the uniqueness of the individual. Perhaps a little utopian but possible. One would like to think that huminity can evolve. If it survives.
Krista blends the worlds of fashion, design and photography seamlessly. This reflects her varied interests and acknowledges that she assumes no barriers to creativity are going to slow her down. I find it fascinating that the images shown here are all made in camera, no Photoshop masks. Not always pretty, they evoke dreams or maybe nightmares.
She writes in her bio:
I have shown different bodies of work at various galleries throughout New England. The two latest shows that I participated in, I also helped to curate. One, at the Griffin Museum of Photography, was a group show that included members from the Northeastern graduating class of 2009. The show was put together by the participants. Seven unique bodies of work came together to create a dynamic show; I most enjoyed finding ways to make the different photography work together in an interesting way. I was named photographer of the year for my senior class, which included a $1,000 award that I used when I went to Europe following graduation.
I want to continue to find ways to weave together my photography and design work. The combination of the two helps me to find new inspiration from two different worlds. I have a deep base to pull from and my curiosity in the world of design helps to fuel my photography.
I see this work by Krista as an extension of who she is. The clarity in her words about her work comes though in her pictures. That is so powerful to me.
I'll let her sum it up:
My sight is not good, but I see incredibly well. People and emotions have great power for me. Just because your vision is good doesn’t mean that you can really see. Some people go through life entirely consumed in themselves and their world. They look around them, but see nothing. Some people have excellent sight, but only look inward or backward.
Now I am preoccupied with looking versus seeing. People go through their whole lives without really seeing themselves. Photographers shed light on things that an everyday person wouldn’t otherwise see. I would like to show people things that they refuse to see.
My life experience seeps into my work. Things that I encounter and experience every day play over and over in my mind and then are released through my camera in what seems a mysterious way. I see “I” as a lifelong project. I think that it will grow and express itself in new and interesting ways as I age and experience my own life in my unique way. I look forward to where this project will take me and I hope to continue to be able to share it with others.
I have a confession to make and it is one not so easy to write as it dates me and perhaps my generation too. It is that when I was beginning to be aware of photographs as art in my twenties the photographs that I was looking at and trying to learn from were most often simpler and not tied to a story or a context. They were pictures that were to be viewed and understood as simply pictures. Now the context, the story, the viewpoint are all important. Krista's relationship with her vision, her view of the world, is the story here and hugely important. It is as though the monumental images and statements have been made by the likes of Adams, Weston, Evans, Atget, Callahan, Sommer, Siskind, etc. and in this later and more mature phase of a now older and more ubiquitous form of photography we have artists making smaller, more personal additions to the overall discipline. I don't know if that is clear or not. Hope so.
Want to contact Krista? Need to know more about her work?
Go here: Krista Casey
I have only highlighted a small part of what Krista does. I urge you to go to her site for find out more.
Thank you, Krista, for sharing your work and thoughts.