Brooke Shaden‘s photographs are extraordinary. Especially when you consider she’s only been a practising photographer since 2008. Quite extraordinary. Her images have a painterly feel to them, her surreal and mystical themes all rendered in a beautiful light and often with the repeating motifs, another language that obviously has a deep resonance for her.
All her photos have a story to tell, everything in the frame – from the models to the props to the flow of the fabric – carefully placed, judged and balanced to extenuate the emotional narrative of the story, to compound the notion of what it means to be alive.
Shaden is the subject, the model in most of her pictures, not as an autobiographical footnote, but rather as an attempt to place herself within a world she wishes we could live in. In short she attempts to question the definition of what it means to be alive.
Here’s what she has to say about her work:
Within the space of a square frame, I try to build a world that is undeniably separate from the one we live in. What fascinates me about any artistic medium is that it can pull the viewer out of a logical and common world, and place them within a space that is more alive. When I use a square frame, I hope that the viewer will forget that they are looking at a photograph and instead see an alternate reality, one that mixes painterly qualities with surrealism and fantasy.
My photographs are meant to be read and analyzed. Symbolism is abundant in them, for what makes an intricate story if not visuals that mean one thing but stand for another? I explore death and surrealism through my photography in order to show that reality has intricate ties with fantasy. Our world is not so different than the disturbing worlds I create within my frames. I argue that my surrealistic images are even more representational of life because they contain feelings and emotions that resonate with the viewers.
You should have a look at the rest of her work. There’s so many more wonderful images to look at. I was in a quandry I could only pick eight.
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