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Fractured: Mini Interviews | Jennifer McClure, K.K. DePaul, Jo Ann Chaus


photo-eye Gallery Fractured: Mini Interviews Jennifer McClure, K.K. DePaul, Jo Ann Chaus Hello! Welcome back to week 5 of our mini-interview series. This week we talk to Jennifer McClure, K.K. DePaul, and Jo Ann Chaus. In their unique approach to self-portraiture, these three amazing artists explore the relationship between a sense of self and womanhood—the fractured roles women play in society as wives, mothers, and independent individuals. They draw from personal history and cultural constructs to provide insights into the nature of psychology and human relationships.


Opening night for Fractured

Hello! Welcome back to week 5 of our mini-interview series. This week we talk to Jennifer McClure, K.K. DePaul, and Jo Ann Chaus. In their unique approach to self-portraiture, these three amazing artists explore the relationship between a sense of self and womanhood—the fractured roles women play in society as wives, mothers, and independent individuals. They draw from personal history and cultural constructs to provide insights into the nature of psychology and human relationships.

Jennifer McClure’s abstract and emotional self-portrait, documents the physical changes a woman’s body undergoes through pregnancy and the psychological impact of that transformation—how a body fractures giving birth to its greatest expression. She reminds us that life is a constant process of growth and change, that there is no such thing as destruction.

K.K. DePaul’s unique collage uses photography and a variety of objects to create a visual vocabulary. One recalls Dada assemblages in the way she embraces chance, accident, improvisation, and distortion. In her layering process, DePaul explores how one’s identity is represented, torn apart, and ultimately reconstructed by personal memory.

Jo Ann Chaus's work explores her identity and her relationship to herself. In each self-portrait, she assumes an alternate version of herself dictated by her costume and setting. Away from the public eye, the vulnerable self fractures in an unsettled state, leaving behind an intensity of expression and a myriad of interpretations.

Enjoy the interviews!

 

 

Jennifer McClure | Still in the Body

Jennifer McClure, Bend to a Quiet, 2018, archival pigment print, 12 x 18 inches, framed, $920

Can you tell us about your artistic process?
I shoot a lot of self-portraits, so I have a loose routine down. I write for quite a while. I come up with a basic concept and try to shoot that first. Then I keep shooting, and that's usually where the magic happens. I use a digital camera with an intervalometer. I end up with dozens of throwaways, but I give myself the time to forget to be self-conscious. I set the focus manually. I know I can lock the focus digitally, or track it, but I get so caught up in the idea of what I'm shooting that I forget to adjust when I change scenes. Keeping it on manual forces me to be aware in the moment.

What inspired this image?
I became unexpectedly pregnant shortly after I got married, just before turning 46. My pregnancy was somewhat of a miracle and, at the same time, one of the most common experiences on the planet. We have all been in someone else's uterus. My huge belly became the topic of almost every conversation I had, as if nothing that happened in the previous 45 years mattered. I was seven months pregnant when I went to teach at the Maine Media Workshops for the first time. Teaching there had been a dream of mine and I wanted to get it all right. I was nervous and forgetful and emotional. I cried in class. Everyone asked about the baby. I worried that my pregnancy was overshadowing and interfering with something I wanted for myself, and I worried that the rest of my life might be like that. I made this photo after class one day.

Can you share an interesting story about your subject matter or the making of your image?

I meant to show myself with the top half of me completely obscured. I didn't know what the shadows would do. They were a pleasant surprise. I was staying in downtown Rockport, and the window faced other houses and a small stretch of road. I thought I was showing myself disappearing, but I was actually exposing quite a lot. And the surprise shadows completely capture the in-between state of being that is pregnancy.

Bio:
Jennifer McClure is a fine art photographer based in New York City. She uses the camera to ask and answer questions. She is interested in appearances and absences, short stories and movies without happy endings. Her work is about solitude and a poignant, ambivalent yearning for connection. Jennifer was awarded CENTER's Editor's Choice by Susan White of Vanity Fair in 2013 and has been exhibited in numerous shows across the country. The Leica Gallery in Boston will present a solo show of her work in November 2020. She was a 2019 and 2017 Critical Mass Top 50 finalist and twice received the Arthur Griffin Legacy Award from the Griffin Museum of Photography. Lectures include the School of Visual Arts i3: Images, Ideas, Inspiration series, Fotofusion, FIT, NY Photo Salon and Columbia Teacher's College. She has taught workshops at PDN's PhotoPlus Expo, the Maine Media Workshops, and Fotofusion. She was a thesis reviewer and advisor for the Masters Programs at both the School of Visual Arts and New Hampshire Institute of Art. Her work has been featured in publications such as GUP, The New Republic, Lenscratch, Feature Shoot, L'Oeil de la Photographie, The Photo Review, Dwell, Adbusters, and PDN. She also founded the Women's Photo Alliance in 2015.


K.K. DePaul | Chameleon

K.K. DePaul, Shattered, 2019, mixed media, 17 x 12 inches, unique, $2125

Can you tell us about your artistic process?
In general, my work is about memory and the way one’s self-identity shifts over a lifetime. The piece in Fractured is from the series ‘Chameleon’ which addresses the way women of my generation often distorted themselves to meet a partner's expectations. I begin with ‘word pictures' . . . short writings that speak in my voice from an earlier time. I usually develop the narrative first. I write my (rough) project statement before I begin with image-making. This seems to keep me ‘on track’ (although I will make adjustments along the way).

What inspired this image?
I found a photograph of a young woman that looked very much like me when I was young. I casually draped it over some books on my bedside table. The way the light from the window hit the glossy paper caused a distortion that was very interesting. I started taking quick photos with my phone, and moving the paper around to distort it further. The images reminded me of looking into a fun-house mirror. I decided that this would be the perfect vehicle to tell the story of how I became unrecognizable during my failed marriages. The examples above are all in-camera distortions of the same original photograph. 

Bio:
K.K. DePaul is an explorer of secrets, combining and recombining bits and pieces of memory to make sense of her family stories. Artist, Photographer, Educator, and Gallery Director, K.K DePaul brings a multi-faceted background to her extensive career in the arts. Kim’s award-winning work as a textile artist and photographer has received national and international attention, and has been included in the corporate collections of: Smith-Kline, The Mayo Clinic, and Capital Blue Cross, and the private collections of photographers: Char-lotte Niel, Christopher James, Sophie Zenon, and Sarah Moon. Her work has been published in Black&White Magazine, EyeMazing, Diffusion, and Pho-toWorld (China). Most recently, she has been the recipient of the 10th Julia Margaret Cam-eron Award, with two exhibitions in Barcelona, and she was part of the exhibition, Tribe, at the Fox Talbot Museum in the UK.



Jo Ann Chaus | Conversations with Myself


Can you tell us about your artistic process?
I’m sure it would be interesting to see a video of my process. I work untethered, so after shooting a few frames, I dash back to the camera, check the image, and go back and forth again and again.  Once I’ve established my spot and made camera adjustments, I transport myself to a suspended state where I embody the character I’ve assumed in this particular costume, and perform as she might be, assorting my gaze, stance and gesture until I feel I am her. It’s an interesting process.

Jo Ann Chaus, Shutters, 2019, archival pigment print, 19 x 13 inches, edition of 8, framed, $1100

What inspired "Shutters"?
After a show in Barcelona last spring, I was traveling to Amsterdam for a few days to see the Erwin Olaf exhibit at two sister museums in The Hague.  I chose my hotel based on its opulent decor, as a potential opportunity to make work.  I always travel with my tripod, potential wardrobe and props.  Of course, the light is beautiful in Amsterdam, and the room had these thick, gorgeous shutters.  I made a few sketch shots the previous day and that morning.  When I returned after a walk a strong sun was streaming through the window, casting strong shadows onto this crazy wallpaper.  The room was a study in blue; I selected my lace collar blue vintage dress, rearranged the furniture, adjusted the shutters and my placement against the wall in the light/shadows.  Readjusting as the light changed, when the shadows were just right I quickly made a series of shots with assorted gestures and postures, giving birth to Shutters.

Jo Ann Chaus, Queen, 2019, archival pigment print, 19 x 13 inches, edition of 8, framed, $1100

What inspired "Queen"?
I had been to this location in Maine before and remembered this interior alcove window. Sorting through my wardrobe trunk, I coordinated the coat, mirror and space, camera, tripod and focus and landed on this shot.

Bio:
Jo Ann Chaus (b. 1954) is an American photographer from and based in the New York metro area. She is a color photographer and printer, influenced by the early color giants William Eggleston, Stephen Shore, and Saul Leiter, and by Elinor Carucci’s and Jen Davis’s intimate family and self-portraiture; she holds two certificates from the International Center of Photography in New York City. In 2016 Jo Ann self-published “Sweetie & Hansom”, a 60 image book with text, about her family of origin, and continues to make images for “Conversations with Myself”, her work of self-portraiture where she uses saved and inherited props ad garment to bridge the past with the present in her 75+ image body of work that explores identity, domesticity, family, juxtaposed with cultural references. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, and she holds special recognitions and awards:, Critical Mass 2019 Top 200, PDN Emerging Photographer Fall 2019 Winner, Winner 13th Pollux Awards non-professional category, Klompching Fresh 2019 Finalist, Candela Unbound8! juried exhibition, 14th Julia Margaret Cameron Awards Honorable Mention, Juror’s Choice South East Center for Photography Portrait Exhibition 2019, Permanent collection in the Center for Creative Photography Qualities of Light Exhibition.


Stay tuned for next's week post, where we'll talk to Heidi Cost, Marie Maher and Ruth Lauer Manenti

>> View more work from Fractured

>> Read more about Fractured

All prices listed were current at the time this post was published.

For more information, and to purchase artworks, please contact photo-eye Gallery Staff at:
(505) 988-5152 x 202 or gallery@photoeye.com 


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