I had plans to fly to Atlanta, GA in mid-March to continue a portrait project (Wallflower II) I had been working on since 2016. Days before my flight was scheduled to depart, panic surrounding Covid erupted and mandatory shelter in place orders went into effect. Two weeks into isolation, my drive to make portraits only amplified and with no safe way to connect with others I spontaneously turned to myself. I have since produced a daily cyanotype portrait since March 30th, most of which have been taken inside of a 340-square-foot apartment I live in alone. These portraits were only made possible by moving a couch every day to make room against a white wall near a window. Once the portrait session was over I would clamp a digital negative produced on a budget office printer on a cyanotype sheet and place it in the window of my 3rd floor apartment. Moments later I would rinse it in water and varying shades of blue would emerge. As the months passed, my living situation shifted from one form of isolation to another but my process has remained relatively the same.
I wake up, have a cup of coffee and immediately look to my surroundings for things I can use as props or costume pieces. These items have shifted as the duration of Covid blurs into an unknown stretch of time. At first they were armor-like, often made of common household items ranging from potholders, tinfoil, dish towels and toilet paper to art supplies I had on hand or acted as evidence of the consumption taking place when stuck indoors indefinitely... Amazon packaging, takeout bags and trash left over from groceries purchased and consumed. In the beginning, I often tried to cover as much of my body and face as possible to make commentary on my fear of the virus and my efforts to guard against it. As the months passed the portraits became less about those fears and more about confronting the anxieties, grief, complexities and fatigue of being in indefinite isolation during a global pandemic.
My working title for this ongoing series (250+ days and counting) is Anxious Pleasures.
These are just a few images from the series. I will be adding more as I catch up with scanning.