As an artist working in the genre of staged photography, I construct, light, and photograph miniature vignettes to address the questions and contradictions of life, both large and small. Although I never depict actual people in my photographs, the human psyche is undeniably at the center of my work. I have a fascination with the psychological landscape. Through my photographs of my constructed staged vignettes I strive to undertake the dilemmas and fears that at first seem personal, yet resonate on a universal level. In scenes that appear child-like and playful, I tackle anxieties common to adulthood: Existential doubts are drowned in a glass of ice, a housewife strives for order while the world blows up, and Leda grapples with a date gone wrong. I frequently combine vivid color and humor with psychological tension as a mechanism to help us laugh at ourselves, and at our futile but understandable desire to control our world.
Certainly, my constructed scenarios are meant to entertain, but they are also drawn from my ruminations on the big questions pondered by humankind from the beginning: Why are we here? Who is in charge? How do we navigate? And are our attempts to answer those questions foolhardy? My artistic expression, disguised in humor, imagination and vivid color, strives to lure the viewer into considering these issues. I have found that expressing the darker side of human nature in this way allows others to smile while reflecting on the deeper aspects of that which we keep within. It helps us recognize that we are not alone; in fact we share these concerns.
My point of view and approach come out of a childhood spent in relative isolation. I entertained myself by making little dioramas with toys and found or constructed objects in a corner of my bedroom to view and rearrange for weeks at a time. I survived and flourished inside a private reality of my own creation that served as great consolation in a world where I had no control. Intense introspection balanced with the coping mechanism of humor developed my sensibilities. I now realize I have come back to where I started, and at the same time, to where I’ve never been. It is through my little fictions I most enjoy taking a stab at truth. www.graceweston.com