Fine Art Photography Daily

Jessica Chappe: Personal Utopias


©Jessica Chappe, Biosphere 2, Oracle AZ

  Sound piece for Personal Utopias

What is paradise? Rather than imagine a place filled with waterfalls and flowers, photographer Jessica Chappe looks at  created environments that allow for joy and personal fulfillment. Her project, Personal Utopias, reveals a wide range of approaches to idea of Shangri-La, created to express art, athleticism, and way of living uniquely. In a time where our lives are filled with uncertainty and fear, the idea of creating one’s own nirvana makes more and more sense.

Jessica Chappe (b. 1994) is a photographer based in Los Angeles. She received her BA in Photography with a concentration in Human Rights from Bard College in 2016. Since graduating, she has been working for David Hume Kennerly, a Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist. In addition she works at Metabolic Studio, a transformative artist space created by Lauren Bon. Jessica was chosen to be an exhibiting artist at the Los Angeles Center for Photography (LACP) in their Second Annual Fine Art Exhibition Group show “Singular (Point of View)” and recently exhibited her series, Personal Utopias, in a solo show at Cafe Bolivar in Santa Monica.


©Jessica Chappe, Bike Kill, Brooklyn NY

Personal Utopias

As a child, I spent a lot of time creating my own fantasies. My twin sister and I would design castles out of cardboard boxes, make fairy houses out of moss, leaves, and sticks, build colorful forts out of every sheet and pillow in the house. As adults, many of us wish we could go back to this state of mind; of being in the moment, of feeling fulfilled and surrounded by people who share our whimsical ideas. After leaving childhood these spaces become more difficult to find yet they are still in us. Some call them sanctuary spaces, I call them Personal Utopias. I believe more than ever that we each need our own Personal Utopia, where we can be creative, have a voice, feel at home, and be amongst people we love. Since my senior year at Bard College, I have been on the hunt for spaces that illustrate this type of imaginative energy to learn about the people who created them and why.

I used photography, text, sound, and an interactive installation for the exhibition to make the work accessible for everyone and to paint a picture of the types of characters I met along the way.


©Jessica Chappe, Crystal Cave, Yucca Valley CA


©Jessica Chappe, The Catskill Animal Sanctuary, Catskill NY


©Jessica Chappe, Founder of Deep Listening, Pauline Oliveros, Kingston NY


©Jessica Chappe, The House of Many Names (The Watershed Center), Millerton NY


©Jessica Chappe, Domeland, Pioneertown CA


©Jessica Chappe, Glass Outhouse, Joshua Tree CA


©Jessica Chappe, Hieroglyph of the Human Soul


©Jessica Chappe, East Kingdom (SCA), Kingston NY


©Jessica Chappe, Arcosanti, Yavapai County AZ


©Jessica Chappe, Kingston Model Train Club, Kingston NY


©Jessica Chappe, Slab City Sancuary, Sonoran Desert CA


©Jessica Chappe, Pajama Pillow Birthday Party, Hudson NY


©Jessica Chappe, Oral History of Female Drumming, Brooklyn NY

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