This week Lenscratch is looking at some of the top 50 portfolios from Critical Mass….
Philadelphia photographer, Justyna Badach, was born in the Soviet Union, and received a BFA from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and a MFA in Photography at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. Her work reflects her life as an emigre who lived apart from her country for many years, and it is this experience that draws her to the relationship between individuals and place. She has used both landscape photography and portraiture to explore questions about how we alter or create our environment. Justyna’s Bachelor Portraits consider the living spaces that single men create and how these carefully assembled environments become profoundly personal reflections of the individuals who occupy them.
I am also featuring additional images from her series, Untitled Seascapes (After Monet).
Images from Bachelor Portraits
“Inwardness as a place of absolute freedom within one’s own self was discovered in late antiquity by those who had no place of their own in the world.” Hannah Arendt (Origins of Totalitarianism, 1951) I came to this country as a refugee I am still trying to make sense of why it is that I do not feel at home in the world. I am interested in people who are also grappling with loneliness, marginalization, and how they deal with the idea of home.
The domestic space is a highly charged place for women but what is it for a man? For the past 5 years I have been working on a series of portraits of bachelors in their homes. These men tend to exist on the margins of culture and are often considered invisible by society. I usually meet the men for the first time when I arrive at their home to collaborate on a picture. The images we construct together depict the safety of places where they withdraw from the world to think, meditate and act out their fantasies.
I am interested in the way that these personal spaces serve as both portrait and the junction between masculine and feminine, the man and myself. The process of making these images embodies a form of role reversal, a feminine penetration into a masculine space. The text that accompanies the images further blurs the line between subject and photographer.
Images from Untitled Seascapes (After Monet)
Inspired by Monet’s paintings of the Normandy coast, Untitled Seascapes (after Monet) present a subtly surreal portrait of the sea of Etreta. Like Monet, Badach creates romantic landscapes, offering a vision of what we might like to exist, and what we thought had existed at one time.
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