The idea of a highly stylized, highly sexualized image world was introduced to me from magazines of the 70s and 80s. Glamor roamed corridors of villas and palazzos in blowing wind, exposed bodies, well-defined make-up of eyes, and lips and strong models.
The visual fashion of that time was high-end, expensive, branded and the models carried out that illusion. They WERE high-end, expensive, branded. But people, and companies, and society were confused by the glitter, the gold, the sex: they thought the “shiny” made the girls. No, the GIRLS made the “shiny.”
As we crept into the 21st century, women (who grew up from girls), were becoming more demanding, more assured, more unapologetic, less afraid. They became less afraid of what people thought, what people saw, and how people “judged.” Girls owned their images, their bodies, and what they DID with their bodies.
Today, I am proud of the women I shoot, their ownership of their rights and their pride, and their choices. The nudity and sexuality is not something to hide, but only is something to not rub in the faces of those who are not enlightened. They do not shoot because they are exploited, but because they are participants in projects, collaborations, performances and choices. They choose to explore, be free, to express and not to apologize for being who they are.
I still create illusions. I see the core beauty, and want others to see what I see. I hone, and sharpen and craft and mold. Clay has a core beauty but becomes more with each turn, and each revolution around the wheel. It is shaped by minds and hands into unimaginable shapes and colors that take the breath away, and replace it with inspiration.
I haven’t done as much as I’d like. There is still a world of beauty out there. I still have miles to go before I sleep.