ARTISTS: ISSUE 7
IMAGE BY ASHANI DUNWELL
Pilar Violet Pennell is an artist and film photographer creating in moments of intimate space and color. Much of her recent work from her photo journal, By Midnight, captures those moments from a raw and dark space. She uses self portraiture as a method of exploring and healing wounds, and deconstructing learned preconceptions of the body and mind. She works primarily in 35mm, and has just relocated from NYC to Portland, Oregon.
"These artworks are amalgamations of the sacred, immovable fixtures of my identity: my imagined, transitioned body and my warm, fleeting memories of safety and hope. My journeys from Dogmatic christian-to-Spiritualist buddhist and confused kid-to-closeted boy are best characterized as tumultuous journeys of disillusionment and dysphoria. The unparalleled chaos and labor I’ve put into my identity has given me the gift of a more holistic vision of my relationship with time. Although I don’t believe in tethering myself to a specific artistic style, I do think that, with more artistic and intellectual experiments, my 눈치 (sense) grows more distinct and my origins more defined as these final years of adolescence draw to a close.
Now, as a burgeoning online artist, it is difficult for me to separate roles as an artist and curator. I struggle to maintain a tolerable level of integrity as I search for my audience. But, rather paradoxically, growing as an artist/influencer entitles a certain degree of deliberate embarrassment. Spending time being annoying, obnoxious, confused, and LOUD has been an incredibly important transitional period for me. I am no longer ashamed or afraid of my art, my image, or my voice. I have surfaced every undignified thought, ugly angle, and deepest fear and I’m still here.
In these next couple of months, as I move towards my freedom, I’m feeling an inner synchronicity that I’ve only heard whispers of in an imagined/remembered childhood.
The days when I live in real time, in my real body, are coming sooner than I’ve anticipated, and I’m beyond ready."
Kayla Smith is a photographer who lives and works in Peapack, New Jersey. She graduated from Drew University in 2016 with a major in Studio Art with a concentration in Photography, and a minor in Film and Media Studies. She focuses on making portraits of the people in her life and addresses states of emotion and personality in her work.
"My name is Laureano and I'm 19 years old. I live in Mendoza, a small city in West Argentina. I started taking photos less than 1 year ago. My grandfather gave me his camera, but it did not work, so a few days later I bought a really cheap Cannon sure shot Telemax. Then I went out to take pictures in my city and at Punk shows. It's something I enjoy a lot, to have a physical memory of some time with my friends - some situation, shows, a building that I like, etc. It is very pleasant. Since the rolls are expensive where I live, I only shoot 1 or 2 rolls per month, that forces me to think much better about each picture."