I've got to admit, Women in Photography is one of my favorite series I've done on Lifestoned Adventures so far. As a photographer myself, this topic is clearly very near and dear to my heart. And for the last month, I've had the opportunity to learn about different creative processes, how a support system influences art, and I've even learned a little bit about myself. This week I'm featuring Clarissa Caponera, a talented photographer that explores photography devoid of the male gaze but still focuses on intimacy. Her work as well as her words are gripping, honest, and explores queer Internet culture. The work feature in this article does include nudity, so it will be featured after her article so it's as safe for work as possible. But without further ado, say hello to Clarissa.
The male gaze exists, and thankfully I am not male. >:)
I think that for myself and the people I work with, there's a sense of mutual understanding and safety because I am a queer woman. It's most important to me that I make an image that feels intimate and comfortable, so I truly wish to take the gaze out of my portraiture and allow the viewer feel close to the person in the photo.
As a female artist and photographer, I find that I fit into this industry just fine because I continue to make space for myself to do so. Truth is that most of the time, men will not make space for you-- & other women will not always make space for you either because we're often pitted against each other. Though I don't think I make work for men, I do think when we say "The general population" or something like "How society views this" we're ultimately thinking about what the average cis dude thinks. We're not usually concerned with how women or gender queer folks will react because we know it could be no worse than the most unfathomable male.
Right now I think feminism in photography is at a really pivotal point. Social media, the Internet, and powerful pop culture figures have made feminism easily consumable. Paired with photography, an extremely accessible art form, it's a perfect match. However through rapid sharing of images on social media, feminist photography often gets diluted down to a one-sentence-clickbait-buzzfeed-article title. It has its advantages, but I believe it takes the complication out of the work and adds some sort of kitsch value. We shouldn't be polished up to fit into a headline, we should be as convoluted as possible.
Clarissa is a Philadelphia-based artist fixated on the alternate reality of the Internet. She floats through cyber space connecting with cutie queers and aims to make images as ethereal as possible. Sexuality is always at play in her work, without it necessarily being on display. Her motto for image making is "have fun n be urself!" :~) Don't forget to check out her website and follow her on Instagram and Tumblr for more incredible art.