As this is the last blog post regarding the SVA student’s from the 2015 Desire & Disgust class, we felt it appropriate to finish with something a little different …
Elizabeth Policello decided that she wanted to use ishotkatemoss as her final project for the semester. As a result, here you will find all seven of her images, which formed her completed class submission.
Elizabeth indicated that she was inspired by the ishotkatemoss assignment to use found images in abstract forms. “This is a medium I’ve never really explored and never thought I’d have an interest in, but the process was fun and very new to me.”
While looking for source images to use, she felt that kate was “bland and ordinary” yet became fixated on “how creepy her eyes were”. She experimented by printing several black and white images on computer paper, and made horizontal cuts across the images, then layering the strips on top of whole images of kate's face. She then scanned the resulting collage into photoshop and inverted the image.
For the final body of work, Elizabeth took it a step further by using kate's eyes, hands, mouth and other body parts, all from gossip magazines.
She chose to single out and manipulate these body parts given her perception that the press focuses our attention in a specific way in order to uphold certain standards of a perceived idea of "beauty and status".
Elizabeth creates a dialogue about the focus on public figures, particularly the shaming of those that make little effort with make-up or are viewed as applying it badly, all the while contrasting such commentary with the bombardment of product advertising.
In addition to beauty products, it was fascinating to learn of Elizabeth’s ideas and insertion of the notions of materialism. Celebrity’s hands are often seen holding status objects, such as smartphones, handbags and jewelry. Often the magazines literally zoom in on these items such that the snippets of an arm are shown with aspirational adornments. The parts of the individual cease to be their own. Taken hold of by the public eye, they are fragmented and “torn apart”.
The components have been further reduced and altered by Elizabeth to where they are no longer part of the whole.
“They are their own object, alienated from it’s host, and layered together to create a new body, thus making it a still life”.
Reflecting on the consumption cycle and the idolization of beauty, wealth and the power of celebrity status in society, Elizabeth’s work presents a resounding commentary, and an appropriate final reflection from a young artist’s perspective.
If you are interested in following Elizabeth’s photographic journey, you can do so on instagram @paulipoe.
A final 'thank you' to all in the class, Keren Moscovitch and the School of Visual Arts.
And just like all of the incredible SVA students ... Observe. Slow Down. Shoot. Submit.