Jennifer K. Beal Davis
My photographs are very much a reflection of myself through the lens of 15th century master painters. Women on the bridge of adulthood pose, often confronting the camera, among classic and contemporary symbols of youth, love, fertility, sex, disease, and death. Jan Van Eyks Arnolfini Portrait is a major source of inspiration for its ability to encapsulate a moment through portraiture and embedded meaning. These photographs are about the power of the female gaze. Each girl has her own history, her own story.
There’s a tension between the subjects and viewer created by eye contact, a sense of catching them in their private lives, with macro images projecting the viewer even closer into their physical personal space. Flowers and fruit indicate classic ideals of fertility and sexuality, while hidden insets forewarn the dangers of copulation. A sense of unease is created by these juxtapositions, intended to challenge the viewer and their initial perceptions of beauty.