The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own. I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before. In this thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find. Please DO NOT send me your work. I do not take submissions.
Today’s featured artist: Kris Davidson
The idea of belonging — the desire for it, the threat of it — wends its way into every American story ever told. In her brief history under the name America, this country has wrestled with every form and manifestation of belonging: how to belong to an old land, a new land, how to stake a claim of ownership of said land; how to belong to oneself, how to belong to each other, either by brute force, subtle coercion, or by open-hearted, willing choice.
How we hold our stories — as a nation and as individuals — is inexorably tied to how we understand how we belong within a society. As an immigrant to the United States, I am keenly aware of the tangled storylines of my adopted homeland; America’s storytelling tradition is expansive, born out of countless colliding, merging and overlapping storylines. American Portraits (working title) is a photo-collage series that seeks to honor the vast range of individual stories held within the American people. These large mixed-media portraits consider Americans from all walks of life, adorned with shared personal snapshots, revealing threads of ancestry and aspiration, a mix of hope, loss and dreams. Each portrait is a collaboration of sharing, reflection and listening spread over many months.
Americans have come from every corner of the world — willingly and unwillingly — creating a cultural landscape of shimmering memories and endlessly shifting storylines of many refurbished selves. Every snapshot deployed in these collages contains layers of meaning when considered across time, as a part of a larger American storyline.
We are made up of blood, bones and stories. A form of cultural DNA, stories show us who we have been, who we are now, and who we are becoming. This project is a way for me to make sense of the stories of my adopted homeland while also honoring individual Americans along the way.
ABOUT ME + MY PROCESS:
As a visual artist, Kris works primarily with American stories and memories. As a photographer, she makes portraits with a medium format camera (for large prints) and utilizes reproductions of archival/personal photographs shared by subjects in her artwork, along with paint and additional mixed media elements.
A native of Sweden, Kris Davidson spent the first half her childhood in the Scandinavian Arctic and the second half in Texas. In her twenties she became a travel photographer working worldwide, collaborating with various editorial and commercial clients including National Geographic, Lonely Planet Traveller, and others. In recent years, she has shifted her focus towards an in-depth study of the United States. Across all her current work, Kris investigates the question of what it means to become and be an American, with an eye to the role of reconstructive memory as it gives shape to individual identity in a larger cultural landscape. She also uses mixed media elements on photographic prints to explore the fluid intersection of perceived truth, memory and imagination. LightSource SF was the printer on this project. They can be found here. Instagram
To see more of this project, click here.
APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s. After establishing the art-buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information because she believes that marketing should be driven by brand and not by specialty. Follow her at @SuzanneSease. Instagram
Success is more than a matter of your talent. It’s also a matter of doing a better job presenting it. And that is what I do with decades of agency and in-house experience.