My practice has involved exploring pink using diverse mediums and themes. I began by looking at how pink is used in such a stereotypically gendered way in Western society. Over time, my shame ironically developed into an obsession with pink, and now I seek to not only uncover it, but also insert it and oversaturate new environments.
I have started to use digital infrared photography, which originates from the discontinued Kodak Aerochrome film. It is a false-color infrared film initially intended for aerial vegetation surveys and for military surveys in Africa, registering greens in vivid hues of pink. The medium has a problematic past, and I feel the military link can be used in way to evaluate issues because it is historical significance.
I wanted to re-contextualize this medium and create a soft, surreal, and pink dreamlike world where everything is beautiful to contradict the original use of false-color infrared. The way infrared photography can create vivid hues of pink in nature captured my attention and has led to the exploration of landscapes in my art.
There is also a visual relationship with romantic paintings of vast landscapes with goddesses posing nude for no apparent reason. This resonates with me as a young woman due to the male gaze, femininity, and working with how it feels to be in my body. The lone figures in these images represent an on going critique of female objectification in my work, and by mimicking classical poses from paintings of Venus by Botticelli or Manet, I sought to reclaim my female form as my own. I wanted to create a connection between the romance of those paintings and my landscapes and use the false colors to push against what they represent. The setting feels primal, like the Garden of Eden with my body representing the birth of Venus, the essence of femininity, born as a woman in my body.
Infrared photography also highlights what is hidden; it was used to uncover people that were concealed. This is also an important link for me because I often feel invisible. The landscape is a background that holds me, making the invisible visible. It is a way for me to come into my body as I struggle with my appearance, and my social anxiety makes me feel unseen. The images present me, almost forcing people to see the true me, showcasing myself. Nature feels non-judgmental; it’s supportive and nurturing, enabling me fit into the world as opposed to being on the edge and awkward.
Mz Pink is a fine artist and you can follow her here.