alison brady.

New York-based photographer Alison Brady creates images that are mysterious and sometimes overtly violent. Her mostly female subjects look like victims of the  beauty ideal, but whether they’ve sacrificed themselves at the altar of pop culture’s idolization of feminine perfection or if they’ve been been attacked through the result of their own vanity is unclear.

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In one shot a plain white hood, pulled on medieval execution style, wraps around a woman, with only smeared red lipstick to denote her face. Others are strangled, alien tentacle-like, by their own manes of silky hair. Her beauty having turned on her, like a parasite. This theme, of the body’s rebellion, is a constant she talked about in an interview at Nymphoto:

“What I find most disturbing is the subtle distortion of something I can relate to, or something that is closest to me. Often just simple daily routines can bring about a variety of ideas. One day while riding the subway, there was this large ad for the removal of varicose veins. That unnerved feeling that one gets when the familiar (something as familiar as your own body –your legs) turns alien and frightening.”

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In other shots women stand unmoving, pillowcases tied around their heads, and do nothing. Her photographs all have a totally unnerving context of stillness: there was violence, there is about to be violence, but each time we are in the eye of the storm. The effects and impact are obvious, but help isn’t yet on the way… or perhaps never will be.

Like Hitchcock, Brady understands that the greatest fear lies in the subtle unseen. That the human imagination, given a hint, will conjure storylines far more disturbing than any picture can capture. In many of her images we only see the legs, dangling, prostrate, filthy. The upper half, the face, the expression, is hidden: in sand, in the ceiling, in the refrigerator. What has happened or how they’ve come to lie there is unknown to us. That visual curiosity, that we’re seeing the conclusion but never the beginning, is the most disturbingly eerie half-knowledge of all.

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If you like these shots, then you should check out the body mutation work of Lucyandbart and the many teenage girls of Julia Fullerton-Batten.

Via Life Lounge

Comments

  1. brielle says:

    very interesting like your type of art …

    love brielle

  2. Lios H'Ficomoi says:

    Brilliant!

  3. “An Uncertain Nature” @ Massimo Audiello solo exhibit by Alison Brady ends Feb 28th.
    Please stop by and see the show before it ends:
    526 West 26th St No. 519
    New York New York 10001

  4. Andr Eremin says:

    number three – symbiotic boy from spiderman//

  5. sandrabanan says:

    I really like Alison Brady and her pictures. They’re so disturbing, but at the same time so beautiful.

  6. The attic hanger is the most evokative in my opinion. You can see exactly what transpired, and how the spot was chosen in a very sane and rational sort of way to carry out something so irrational and macabre as suicide.

  7. Very, very cool. I love the legs wrapped in fishing line (?) and the girl spitting up on her notepad. Crazy.

  8. Wow, these are unsettling… Well, most of them. The ones with brighter colors, like the legs in sand, strike me as a bit more lighthearted than, say, the one of the women in the drawer. In the latter, what I find most disturbing is the hair draped over the edge. Very interesting concepts.

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