Burning Lotus

with Julie H.

I started the process of self-portraiture from a place of great personal pain and tragedy. Initially, it was simply a form of documentation that I was still here and that I continued to exist. Art therapy as it were. I had no background in photography and used a simple point ‘n’ shoot to start, but seemed to find some peace with the discipline that photography required. A calming balance of right brain and left brain. I posted my images initially as a dare to myself – again, an affirmation of existence. And yet, I was impatient with my inability to create images that looked like everyone else’s, that were technically sound and ‘pretty’. It was through the kindness of strangers on the internet that I began to fully embrace my perfectly imperfect abilities and viewpoint. I shoot when I want to – I’m a model that is free when I want to be a photographer and I have a photographer handy when I feel like modeling.

I simply see the human body as an amazing machine with many moving parts. And parts is parts. Society assigns value and stigma on what is acceptable and what isn’t. Or geography and climate. I have a southern hemisphere mentality? I guess I’m tone deaf about the issues here. It simply doesn’t seem very relevant to me.

Photo Reverend Bobby Anger

I was trained as a dancer as a child and raised by a mother who refused to believe that the human body was shameful and she felt I was capable of accomplishing anything that interested me, the combination of deep connection to my body and feeling confident about my own singularity was a powerful influence for me. I am at ease in and with my body. I have been athletic in one form or another for a substantial part of my life and my physicality and sexuality are entangled in many ways. I am equal parts visceral and intellectual. I would guess my images reflect that.

I absolutely get more unconditional love and support than I feel I deserve for my “therapy”. I get notes routinely from every kind of person that you can imagine that let me know that I inspire them, they like themselves better, bring them hope about the aging process and/or they are no longer frightened about growing old, that they admire my courage, that they find me unexpectedly sexy, that they now like ink and piercings. The gamut. So, the haters be damned. I am doing what I do so that I can explore and grow. The accidental bonus is that it seems to resonate with others. I’m lucky about the unexpected bounty and uncomfortable and very grateful. Apt analogy for the lotus, no?

Meeting Reverend Bobby

We met and talked of so many things about art, history, art history and creating work that felt — and strived to show — the influence of Caravaggio and Delacroix. Magical light and the magic of shadow. Shooting with him was both focused and relaxed. Both times that we’ve collaborated have been wonderful. We have to monitor our conversation time in order to squeeze in the photography side of the time. He is truly one of the most gifted photographers that I’ve had the privilege to work with. Humble, funny, brilliant and articulate. He is driven by his own vision but wholly supportive of smart, capable models that bring their own process and power to the captured moments. I’m very much in awe of him. And honored to spend time with him.

I think that somehow my images must project loneliness although that is something that I rarely feel. I’m an introvert and my need for human interaction is on the low side. I’ve been a solitary soul since I was a child. I continue to be that way. I have a select group of people that I spend time with regularly and a full time job that allows me to connect with people I genuinely enjoy and understand me very well.

Photo Reverend Bobby Anger

I was sitting in my trig class, my junior year in high school. It was an advanced placement class and full of students that genuinely appreciated math. I was not one of them as I was capable but not terribly interested. There was a discussion going on around me about some particular equation blah blah blah and I realized that the more I listened to the questions and answers, the less I understood how to solve the problem. And my “aha” was that once I understand something, it is best for me if I let the rest of the information flow past me. Monitor but not internalize. I felt such relief at having discovered a very simple but essential truth about myself. It is an attitude and practice that has served me well. I am perfectly happy to listen and learn from what life and people have to offer, but my bullshit detector is amazing and my emotional IQ is high, so I am best served when I listen most closely to my sense of what is true for me.

The lotus is the heaven flower and the symbol of hope and rebirth and represents the power to be whoever you want to be. From the muck rises great beauty. Delicate tenacity. The art is a reminder to me that I can and will overcome, rise again, burn on.

Interview by Dioniso Punk
(Published without any permission or mention by Huffington Post)

Photo Reverend Bobby Anger

All Photos by Reverend Bobby Anger


1 Commento su Burning Lotus

  1. preston rittenhouse // 2016/09/08 alle 23:47 // Rispondi

    Wonderful, Lotus…thank you

4 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

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  4. 56 წლის ქალბატონი ამტკიცებს, რომ ნებისმიერ ასაკში შესაძლოა იყო მიმზიდველი –


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