CLARA LARATTA 

Artist Statement

The work consists of painterly style, photographic, self-portraits. They are an acknowledgement of the multifaceted nature of identity and perception. The work was created in an attempt to create dialogue surrounding identity, the way we view ourselves and others and potentially provide an arena for contemplation regarding pre-existing social frameworks.

The images were created through the execution of photographic self-portraits, images that explore subtle changes in the perception and portrayal of self throughout this time period. They reflect the impact of day to day experiences and interactions with others.   The works are based on an intimate look at self while holding a space for a look at “others” in a broader context.  Manual layering of physical properties being photographed allow many facets of research to come together in one image.   

The works are intended to provoke reflection and connection through the finding of something of oneself within the images. In this way, the works are intended to engage with similarities, and differences, in an attempt to evoke empathy and aid in the removal of categorization transcending gender, race, religion, ethnicity, disability, socioeconomic status and sexual orientation while promoting pluralism and belonging.

Identity is explored through the lens of how we are affected by others with a focus on how this influences the way we see and interact with the world.  I am constantly questioning what it means to be human, how our experiences and relationships shape who we are and the way we perceive the world.  Examination of these matters help me understand why people behave the way they do and how life circumstances and our experiences change us. The way we interpret the world provides interest in our experience, an opportunity for discussion, and enables us each to have a unique connection to one another and our community which can be utilized as a basis for social transformation.           

The use of self-portraits in my work is serendipitous to someone who has an aversion to being photographed. As a female, the control and ability to represent myself as the subject rather than an object is appealing to me.  No matter what the intervention, similar to nature when it is unleashed, control is lost.  The history of photography, its ties to the history of portraiture and the new genre of selfies is also of interest and provides an opportunity for dialogue with a wide audience.