Model: Nina Isabelle
November, 2015 Woodward PA
One of the most important influences on my work ethic is Nina, a painter and performance artist in upstate NY. We grew up over a field from each other, but I never knew her growing up (although I went to high school with her sister). We met officially almost a decade ago at a craft show. We have since collaborated on many projects and I did a performance art residency with her in 2016. Her life philosophy has helped shape my artistic focus and I am very grateful for her support and guidance over the years.
Nina and I did this interesting shoot in her parents’ backyard in our home village. Using her mother’s vintage furs and boas and a giant spotlight from the stable, the backdrop of the pine trees serve as a great David Lynch-y vibe.
In 2016 I did a performance art residency near Kingston, NY. A friend of mine from Penn State, Katie Hovencamp, was coincidentally in the area at another residency. So…happily, she came to visit! Katie is a crazy talented performance artist and sculptor (she’s wearing one of her creations in the castle photo, taken outside Arts Letters and Numbers. We did some crazy photos in the woods around Catskill and Hurley. The abandoned diner was a lucky find on the trip, so of course we explored it!
My ex and I used to go to a lot of country fairs tucked away in small towns. I was inspired a lot by their weirdness. The weirdest one of all was put on by central PA Brethren In Christ churches, which was set in the mountains and a little weird to access. (Brethren are also known as Dunkards, which are Anabaptists with roots in Mennonite tradition.)
Needless to say, a religious fun fair in the mountains was both charming and surreal.
These were photographed in 2012 or 2013; I can’t remember offhand.